A special tribunal is a criminal court set up on an ad-hoc basis by the United Nations. It is generally set up to investigate core international crimes – war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – in a specific conflict. To date special tribunals have been set up to prosecute crimes in the former Yugoslavia (1993), in Rwanda (1994), in Cambodia (2003) and in Lebanon (2005).
The Syrian government led by president Bashar al-Assad is responsible for systematic and widespread torture. ECCHR together with seven Syrian torture survivors as well as the Syrian lawyers al-Bunni and Darwish submitted the first criminal complaint against six high-level officials of the Syrian military intelligence service to the German Federal Prosecutor.