Case: IT-98-29-T


Judge Alphons Orie, Presiding

Judge Amin El Mahdi
Judge Rafael Nieto-Navia

Mr Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
25 April 2003





Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Mark Ierace

Counsel for the Defence:

Ms. Mara Pilipovic
Mr. Stephane Piletta-Zanin


TRIAL CHAMBER I, Section B (“the Trial Chamber”) of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 (“the Tribunal”);

BEING SEISED OF the Defence’s “Motion for Extension of Delay” filed on 22 April 2003 (“the Motion”), whereby the Defence requests that the oral arguments of the parties be heard from 8 May on, instead of 6 May 2003;

NOTING that the Defence argues that the initial deadline for the parties to file their final briefs was 16 April 2003; that the deadline was extended to 23 April 2003 at the sole request of the Prosecution; that this extension of time causes prejudice to the Defence in the preparation of its oral arguments; that the Defence finds it absolutely necessary that both parties have a period of three weeks , from the date the final briefs are filed, in order to prepare their oral arguments ;

NOTING the “Scheduling Order for Final Briefs and Closing Arguments” filed by the Trial Chamber on 28 March 2003, whereby the Trial Chamber ordered the parties to file their final briefs no later than 16 April 2003 and decided that the closing arguments would take place on 6, 7 and 8 May 2003;

NOTING that both parties requested an extension of time on respectively 15 and 16 April 2003; that the Trial Chamber consequently requested the parties to file their briefs by 17 April 2003;

CONSIDERING that practical problems, which did not only concern the Prosecution , but rather impacted upon the administrative functioning of the whole Tribunal, arose on 16 April and lasted until 22 April 2003;

CONSIDERING that an additional extension of time was granted to the parties as a result of the unforeseeable disruptions at the Tribunal; that the Trial Chamber orally informed the parties on 17 April 2003 that the deadline to file their final briefs was extended to 23 April 2003;

CONSIDERING that, under Rule 86(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (“the Rules”), “Not later than five days prior to presenting a closing argument, a party shall file a final trial brief”;

CONSIDERING that the Defence does not explain why a period of three weeks from the date the final briefs are filed is “absolutely necessary” to properly prepare its oral arguments;

CONSIDERING that, following a phone conversation with the Defence, the Trial Chamber’s Legal Support section understood that the Defence may face difficulties in translating the Prosecution Final Brief in B/C/S on time for the Accused; that the Legal Support section then took steps for the Defence to be assisted by the Tribunal’s translation unit; that, once obtained, the Defence however indicated that it would not need such assistance;

CONSIDERING that the Trial Chamber finds that the parties still have sufficient time to prepare their oral arguments despite the fact that the time to read the final briefs has been reduced by a few days; that no prejudice resulting from the extension of time granted on 17 April 2003 has therefore been established;


PURSUANT TO Rules 54 and 86 of the Rules,

DENIES the Motion.

Done in English and French, the English version being authoritative.

Done this 25 April 2002
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

Alphons Orie
Presiding Judge, Trial Chamber

[Seal of the Tribunal]

1 - Motion, para. 5.
2 - The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic, “Decision on Prosecution’s Request to have Written Statements Admitted Under Rule 92 bis” IT-02-54-T (21 March 2002), para. 22.