"Fitness to stand trial under international criminal law: the ramifications of a landmark East Timor decision"

Ian Freckelton, Magda Karagiannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the circumstances under which Josep Nahak was found unfit to stand trial for offences with which he was charged during the lead-up to East Timor becoming an independent nation. The accused man was scheduled to be tried for war crimes by the East Timor Dili District Court within which special panels were established to deal with such matters. The paper discusses the expert evidence which was presented in the case and the considerations that led to Judge Rapoza's decision that the accused man was unfit to be tried. It also reflects upon the cultural issues which arise when assessors are imported to another country to undertake such evaluations, and it considers the options for "special hearings" when determinations of unfitness are made, especially in a situation where treatment options that might render the accused fit to stand trial cannot be pursued effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology & Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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