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Court Support Services

The Court Support Services Section (CSSS) is a Registry section mandated to provide administrative and legal support to court proceedings before the Tribunal while ensuring the full respect for the rights of the defendants and witnesses. CSSS was established on 1 March 2014 in an effort to consolidate Registry judicial support functions by merging several former sections and units.

CSSS is comprised of four units, each managed by a Head of unit, namely:

  • Witness Support and Operations Unit (WSOU)
  • Witness Protection Unit (WPU)
  • Courtroom Operations Unit (COU)
  • Office for Legal Aid and Defence (OLAD)

WSOU and WPU are collectively referred to as Victims and Witnesses Section, as provided for under Rule 34 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

The Chief of CSSS has responsibility for all units within CSSS. The Legal Advisor and Coordinator for CSSS supervises OLAD, coordinates legal issues arising in other three units and deputises for the Chief, in his absence.

CSSS closely cooperates with the Judicial Records Unit (JRU), led by the JRU Head, responsible for court filings, transcripts, audio-video recordings and exhibits. JRU is placed under the Archives and Records Management Section (MARS), led by Chief Archivist.

Witness Support

The role of the Witness Support and Operations Unit is to facilitate the appearance of all witnesses before the Tribunal, whether called by the Chambers, Prosecution or Defence. WSOU provides practical and psycho-social support to witnesses and their accompanying support persons and is responsible for logistical operations and witness administration.

Witness Protection

The Witness Protection Unit is responsible for addressing security related concerns raised by witnesses as a result of their interaction with the Tribunal. 

Courtroom Operations Unit

This Unit makes all the necessary organisational arrangements for court hearings, and provides assistance to self-represented accused. The COU’s Court Officers perform the functions of the Registrar during court proceedings, and act as the main liaisons between Chambers, Prosecution and Defence counsel. During court sessions, the COU’s Court Ushers serve as intermediaries between the parties and provide logistical support. The COU’s Pro Se Legal Liaison Officer promotes equal access to the court process for the self-represented accused by ensuring that they have adequate facilities to prepare and present their case in accordance with the Tribunal law.

Office for Legal Aid and Defence

The main mandate of OLAD is to ensure the accused's and suspect's right to counsel, including the assignment and remuneration of counsel to those who cannot afford it, and to ensure that the facilities provided to the defence comply with the applicable policy and the law of the Tribunal.