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Reading: Prosecuting the Gaddafi’s: Swift or Political Justice?


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Prosecuting the Gaddafi’s: Swift or Political Justice?


Geert-Jan Knoops

Utrecht University, NL
About Geert-Jan
Prof. dr. G.J. Alexander Knoops, LL.M. is Professor of International Criminal Law; he is also a defence counsel before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Court at Knoops’ advocaten in Amsterdam. The author is greatly indebted to Ms Evelyn Bell (LL.M., MSc), legal assistant at Knoops’ Advocaten and Mr James Davis (LL.B.) of the University of Durham for assisting him with the compilation of this article.
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In this article the author assesses the legality and legitimacy of the Gaddafi arrest warrant; was the issuance thereof a matter of swift justice or was it merely meant to serve as political pressure in overthrowing a detrimental regime? To this end the available evidence at the time the arrest warrants were issued, political motives behind the arrest warrants and differences – or actually similarities – between the Syrian and the Libyan situation, are discussed. Moreover, the trial prospects of Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, who is facing a trial before either a Libyan court or the International Criminal Court, are analysed. The case review in this article illustrates the dynamics of politics within International Criminal Law.

How to Cite: Knoops, G.-J., 2012. Prosecuting the Gaddafi’s: Swift or Political Justice?. Amsterdam Law Forum, 4(1), pp.78–92. DOI:
Published on 01 Dec 2012.


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