BEFORE THE PRE-REVIEW JUDGE

Before: Judge Fausto Pocar, Pre-Review Judge

Registrar: Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of: 14 December 2001

PROSECUTOR

v.

DUSKO TADIC

____________________________________________________________

DECISION ON MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME

____________________________________________________________

The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Norman Farrell

Counsel for the Defence:

Mr. William Clegg
Mr. Anthony Abell

 

I, FAUSTO POCARalign, Judge of the Appeals 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 International Tribunal"),

NOTING the "Ordonnance portant nomination dun juge de la mise en état en révision" issued by the Appeals Chamber on 5 November 2001, which designated Judge Pocar as the Pre-Review Judge;

BEING SEISED of the "Motion to Vary Time Limit for Filing Reply" dated 21 November 2001 but filed by counsel for Dusko Tadic ("the Defence") on 23 November 2001 ("the Motion for Extension of Time"), seeking an extension of time until 26 November 2001 for the filing of a Reply, pursuant to Rule 127 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Tribunal ("the Rules") and Article 14 of the "Practice Direction on Procedure for the Filing of Written Submissions in Appeal Proceedings Before the International Tribunal" ("the Practice Direction");

NOTING the "Decision Authorising Response by the Prosecution and Allowing Further Time to File a Reply" issued by the Pre-Review Judge on 6 November 2001 ("the Decision of 6 November");

NOTING the "Prosecution Response to Motion for Review of the Convictions of Dusko Tadic set out in the Judgements of the Trial Chamber (IT-94-1-T) and of the Appeals Chamber (IT-94-1-A)" filed by the Office of the Prosecutor ("the Prosecution") on 6 November 2001 ("the Response");

NOTING the "Reply to Prosecution" filed confidentially by the Defence on 26 November 2001 ("the Reply");

NOTING Rule 127(B) of the Rules, which states that "in relation to any step falling to be taken in connection with an appeal or application for leave to appeal, the Appeals Chamber or a bench of three Judges of that Chamber may exercise the like power as is conferred by paragraph (A) and in like manner and subject to the same conditions as are therein set out" and that said paragraph (A) provides that "... a Trial Chamber may, on good cause being shown by motion, (i) enlarge or reduce any time prescribed by or under these Rules; (ii) recognize as validly done any act done after the expiration of a time so prescribed on such terms, if any, as is thought just and whether or not that time has already expired";

NOTING that Article 14 of the Practice Direction provides, inter alia, that "the Appeals Chamber or a bench of three Judges of the Appeals Chamber may vary any time-limit prescribed under this Practice Direction or recognise as validly done any act done after the expiration of a time-limit so prescribed";

CONSIDERING that the Decision of 6 November provides, inter alia, that in order to assure a fair and expeditious processing of the matter, the Practice Direction be applied, mutatis mutandis, to the instant case;

CONSIDERING that in the Decision of 6 November, the Pre-Review Judge, in view of the time used by the Prosecution to prepare the Response and in fairness to the Defence, extended proprio motu the time for the filing of the Reply set out in Article 12 of the Practice Direction until Wednesday 21 November 2001, and that, therefore, the Defence had 15 days from the filing of the Response to prepare its Reply;

NOTING that the Motion for Extension of Time was filed on 23 November 2001, which is two days after the expiration of the time frame set out in the Decision of 6 November for the filing of the Reply;

NOTING that in the Motion for Extension of time, the Defence submits, as the main reason for seeking an extension of time, that "unfortunately, it has not been possible for lead and co-counsel to complete the drafting of the Reply by today, owing to our current professional commitments at different Courts from each other";

CONSIDERING that the existence of other professional commitments at different courts does not constitute good cause for granting an extension of time;

CONSIDERING further that it is unacceptable that counsel paid by the International Tribunal dedicate themselves to other professional commitments to the neglect of their client;

FINDINGalign therefore that the Motion for Extension of Time was not timely filed and is manifestly ill-founded and frivolous;

CONSIDERING, however, that the misconduct of counsel should not penalise the individuals tried before the International Tribunal;

PURSUANTalign to Rule 127 of the Rules and Article 14 of the Practice Direction;

HEREBY REJECT the Motion for Extension of time, RECOGNISE as validly done the filing of the Reply and INVITE the Registrar to consider withholding payment of any fees or costs involved in the preparation of the Motion for Extension of Time.

 

Done in both English and French, the English text being authoritative.

___________________________
Fausto Pocar
Pre-Review Judge

Dated this 14th day of December 2001
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

[Seal of the Tribunal]