Case No. IT-95-13/1-PT

IN TRIAL CHAMBER II

Before:
Judge Carmel Agius, Presiding
Judge Jean Claude Antonetti
Judge Kevin Parker

Registrar:
Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
30 March 2004

PROSECUTOR

v.

MILE MRKSIC
MIROSLAV RADIC
VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN

______________________________________________

DECISION ON MRKSIC DEFENCE REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE REGISTRARíS DECISION OF 6 OCTOBER 2003

______________________________________________

The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Jan Wubben

Counsel for the Accused Mile Mrksic:

Mr. Miroslav Vasic

Counsel for the Accused Miroslav Radic:

Mr. Borivoje Borovic
Ms. Mira Tapuskovic

Counsel for the Accused Veselin Sljivancanin:

Mr. Novak Lukic
Mr. Momcilo Bulatovic

 

TRIAL CHAMBER II ("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 ("Tribunal"),

BEING SEISED of a confidential and ex parte "Defence Request for Review of the Registrarís Decision",1 filed on 17 October 2003 ("Motion"), in which the Accused Mile Mrksic ("Mrksic") requests the Trial Chamber:

  1. to review the letter from the Deputy Chief of OLAD dated 6 October 2003, on behalf of the Registrar, ("Registrarís Decision"), granting an additional allotment of 350 working hours at the counsel rate and 1500 working hours at the supporting staff rate; and

  2. to qualify the case of Mile Mrksic at third level of complexity ("Level III");

NOTING that the Registrarís Decision was taken in response to a request submitted by Mrksic to upgrade his case to Level III ("Request"), filed on 12 September 2003;

NOTING that, in the Motion, Mrksic argues that the Registrar of the Tribunal ("Registrar") has erroneously considered the "Request" as a request for additional allotment of counsel hours when its purpose was in fact to have the level of the case upgraded from the first level of complexity ("Level I") to Level III;2

CONSIDERING that the Registrar has the primary responsibility in the determination of matters relating to the remuneration of counsel under the legal aid system of the Tribunal;3

CONSIDERING that under the Tribunalís legal aid system, the Registrar establishes a maximum sum of working hours allotted to the defence for the pre-trial stage, which is determined in accordance with the level of complexity of the case;4

CONSIDERING that the Registrar has ranked the Mrksic case at Level I and has allocated 1400 working hours at counsel rate and 2000 working hours for support staff members, which is the maximum allotment for Level I cases to be ready for trial;5

CONSIDERING that pursuant to Article 22 (A) of the Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel ("Directive"), in the event of disagreement on the maximum allotment, the Registrar shall make a decision after consulting the Chamber and, if necessary, the Advisory Panel;

CONSIDERING that, in the view of the Trial Chamber, the Motion falls directly within the terms of Article 22 (A) of the Directive and that the procedure provided therein instructs the Registrar to consult with the Trial Chamber in the event of disagreement on the maximum sum allotted;

CONSIDERING that on 2 October 2003 the Registrar informally communicated with the legal staff of the Trial Chamber with respect to the upgrading of the Mrksic case and stated that the Registrar had ranked the Mrksic case at second level of complexity ("Level II");

CONSIDERING that the Mrksic case is still officially ranked by the Registrar at Level I;

CONSIDERING further, that during the Status Conference dated 16 February 2004, counsel for Mrksic appears to have varied the request by stating that the Mrksic case should be upgraded to Level II;6

CONSIDERING that before the Trial Chamber can proceed any further this aspect needs to be clarified;

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS

PURSUANT TO Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,

HEREBY DIRECTS Mrksic to clarify whether he requests that the level of complexity of the Mrksic case be upgraded to Level II or Level III; and subsequently DIRECTS the Registrar to consult with the Trial Chamber, in order for the Registrar to take a decision pursuant to Article 22 (A) of the Directive.

Done in French and English, the English version being authoritative

Dated this 30th day of March 2004,
At The Hague
The Netherlands

______________
Carmel Agius
Presiding Judge

[Seal of the Tribunal]
1. The confidentiality was lifted during the Status Conference of 22 October 2003, T. 152.
2. Motion, paras 7, 10-30.
3. The Prosecutor v. Enver Hadzihasanovic & Amir Kubura, Case No.: IT-01-47-PT, Decision on Urgent Motion for ex parte Oral Hearing on Allocation of Resources to the Defence and Consequences Thereof for the Rights of the Accused to a Fair Trial, 17 June 2003; The Prosecutor v. Milan Milutinovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic, Nikola Sainovic, Case No.: IT-99-37-PT, Decision on Motion for Additional Funds, 8 July 2003; The Prosecutor v. Milan Milutinovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic, Nikola Sainovic, Case No.: IT-99-37-PT73.2, Decision on Interlocutory Appeal on Motion for Additional Funds, 13 November 2003, para. 19.
4. Article 22 (A) of the Directive provides in the relevant part: "The Registrar establishes maximum allotments for each defence at the beginning of every stage of the procedure taking into account his estimate of the duration of the phase. In the event that a stage of the procedure is substantially longer or shorter than estimated, the Registrar may adapt the allotment. In the event of disagreement on the maximum allotment, the Registrar shall make a decision, after consulting the Chamber and, if necessary, the Advisory Panel."; See also Report of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to the United Nations General Assembly on the Structure and Functioning of the Legal Aid System ("Report to the U.N."), 31 May 2003, paras. 22-29.
5. See Appendix A of the Report to the U.N.
6. Status Conference, 16 February 2004, T. 176-77.