"Practice Direction on the Procedure for the Determination of Applications for pardon, Commutation of Sentence and Early Release of persons convicted by the International Tribunal"


7 April 1999

In accordance with Sub-rule 19(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and pursuant to Article 28 of the Statute and Rules 123 to 125 and having consulted with the Bureau, the Prosecutor and the Registrar, the President of the Tribunal, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, issued the following Practice Direction on 7 April 1999.

Notification of eligibility

1. Upon a convicted person becoming eligible for pardon, commutation of sentence or early release under the law of the State in which the convicted person is serving his or her sentence ("the enforcing State"), the enforcing State shall, in accordance with its agreement with the International Tribunal on the enforcement of sentences ("the Agreement") and, where practicable, at least forty-five (45) days prior to the date of eligibility, notify the International Tribunal accordingly.

Duties of the Registrar

2. After receiving such notification, the Registry shall:

(a) inform the convicted person that he or she may be eligible for pardon, commutation of sentence or early release and advise him or her of the steps that will be taken;

(b) request reports and observations from the relevant authorities in the enforcing State as to the behaviour of the convicted person during his or her period of incarceration and the general conditions under which he or she was imprisoned, and request from such authorities any psychiatric or psychological evaluations prepared on the mental condition of the convicted person during the period of incarceration;

(c) request the Prosecutor to submit a detailed report of any co-operation that the convicted person has provided to the Office of the Prosecutor and the significance thereof; and

(d) obtain any other information that the President considers relevant.

3. After receiving the required information, which should be submitted in one of the two working languages of the International Tribunal within fourteen (14) days where possible, the Registry shall forward a copy of the said information to the President, as well as to the convicted person.

Participation of the convicted person

4. The convicted person shall be given ten (10) days to examine the information, following which the President shall hear him or her either through written submissions or, alternatively, by video- or telephone-link.

The consultation process

5. The President shall forward to the members of the Bureau as well as the sentencing Chamber a copy of the information received from the enforcing State and the Office of the Prosecutor, the President’s comments regarding the convicted person’s demonstration of rehabilitation and any other information he or she considers relevant. The Judges concerned shall be given a specified period of time to survey the material provided, following which appropriate consultation shall be undertaken.

Confidentiality of information

6. All information received by the President pursuant to paragraphs 2 through 5 above shall be considered confidential.

The Decision

7. Having regard to the criteria specified in Rule 125, the provisions of which are annexed hereto, and any other information that he or she considers relevant, and after taking into account the views of the members of the Bureau and the sentencing Chamber, the President shall determine whether pardon, commutation of sentence or early release is to be granted. The decision of the President, shall be rendered at least seven (7) days prior to the date of eligibility. Unless the President decides otherwise, the decision shall be made public.

8. In cases involving applications for early release, in the event that the President decides that early release is inappropriate the decision shall specify the date on which the convicted person will next become eligible for consideration for early release, unless specified by the domestic law of the enforcing State.

9. The decision of the President shall be final and is thus not subject to appeal.

The execution of the Decision

10. The Registry shall transmit the decision immediately to the relevant authorities of the enforcing State, who shall, in accordance with the Agreement, execute the terms of the decision promptly. A copy of the decision shall also be forwarded to the convicted person and other interested parties.

11. Where appropriate, at the direction of the President, the Registry shall inform persons who testified before the International Tribunal during the trial of the convicted person of his or her release, the destination he or she will travel to upon release, and any other information that the President considers relevant.


Rule 125
General Standards for Granting Pardon or Commutation

In determining whether pardon or commutation is appropriate, the President shall take into account, inter alia, the gravity of the crime or crimes for which the prisoner was convicted, the treatment of similarly-situated prisoners, the prisoner’s demonstration of rehabilitation, as well as any substantial cooperation of the prisoner with the Prosecutor.