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The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is an international criminal court which was established by an Agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1664 (29 March 2006). The UN Security Council endorsed the agreement on 30 May 2007 in Resolution 1757. For reasons of security, administrative efficiency and fairness, the tribunal has its seat outside Lebanon, in Leidschendam (near The Hague) in the Netherlands.
The tribunal is mandated to try those suspected of the attack of 14 February 2005, which resulted in the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri “and in the death or injury of other persons”. An extension of the mandate of the tribunal is possible with the consent of the Security Council.
The Special Tribunal is a “hybrid” international court, which will not apply international criminal law but rather Lebanese law. The chambers will be composed of both Lebanese and international judges, although the majority will be international.
Unlike the UN’s ad hoc tribunals, the STL may try accused persons in absentia. No suspects have thus far been named.
On 26 November 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that "it is envisaged that the Tribunal will commence functioning on 1 March 2009."