Throughout modern history, there has been need to establish special tribunals to punish criminals for gross crimes that violate the rights of every human and endanger people around the world. Since the time of World War II, the UN has used its power to create tribunals in an attempt to create justice and bring peace to the victims of unspeakable crimes. This list includes the Nuremberg trials, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and most recently, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The first three of the aforementioned tribunals were created with to punish war criminals that had taken part in genocides, ethnic cleansing, and other war crimes that have been outlawed by international treaties. They were created by the United Nations and fall under their purview so that crimes that violate the very rights we have as people are respected. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is very different as it was created to punish the perpetrators of a single act and the events that occurred as ripple effects.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was established in March 2009 following years of international proceedings and agreements to punish those responsible for the massive explosions in Beirut on February 14, 2005 that killed 23 people, including the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, did permanent damage to the city and incited chaos in an already unstable nation. The process began quickly as the international community condemned the attack and called for swift justice carried out by the Lebanese government. The primary concern was that this was an act of terror planned and executed by one of the many lethal groups that are powerful in the Middle East and may not be an isolated incident.
This concern was significant enough that the UN secretary general felt that sending a mission to inquire about the explosion would be the best course of action. After nearly a month, the mission recommended that the UN create a full investigative unit that was independent of the government to ensure justice. The UN Security Council recognized this suggestion in April 2005 and established the UN International Independent Investigation Commission to assist the Lebanese government in their investigation. However, the political situation in Lebanon had been destabilized by the initial attack and continued to falter throughout 2005 causing the Lebanese government to request that an independent international tribunal be created to handle the investigation and later prosecution.
A deal was struck between the Lebanese government and the UN in 2007 after several months of negotiations but looked like it would fail when the Speaker of Lebanese Parliament refused to put the bill to the floor for ratification. It was not that the speaker did not want the Tribunal created, but that he could not put the bill forward without great risk to his own life and anyone who openly voted to approve the bill. Hezbollah, a US...