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Amendments and Additions to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence adopted at the 21st Plenary Session.

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 8 December 1999

Amendments and Additions to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence adopted at the 21st Plenary Session.

The Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) held their 21st Plenary Session on 15, 16 and 17 November 1999, during which they amended 28 Rules and adopted three new Rules from the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence. In general, the changes are aimed at speeding up the proceedings and making more efficient use of court time. These rules came into force yesterday, 7 December 1999.

The following Rules have been amended:

Rule 2; Rule 10; Rule 15; Rule 28; Rule 33; Rule 50; Rule 62; Rule 65; Rule 65 bis; Rule 65 ter; Rule 66; Rule 71; Rule 72; Rule 73 bis; Rule 73 ter; Rule 75; Rule 77 bis; Rule 85; Rule 90; Rule 91; Rule 94 ter; Rule 98 bis; Rule 105; Rule 108; Rule 108 bis; Rule 111; Rule 112; and Rule 116 bis.

The following Rules have been adopted:

Rule 15 bis; Rule 54 bis; and Rule 71 bis.

The amendments and additions to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence are available from the Public Information Services and will be posted on the ICTY corresponding webpage in the coming days.

The Main Changes

The most significant changes are as follows:

Rule 15 bis

This provides the procedure to be followed when a Judge is unable to continue sitting on a part-heard case in order to provide some flexibility in appropriate circumstances. This new Rule encompasses and modifies Sub-Rules 15(E) and (F). Neither permission by the President nor the agreement of the parties is required to take a deposition in the absence of the Judge, but the parties have to be heard. The hearing of the case can continue in the absence of that Judge for a period not exceeding three days. Subsequently, another Judge might have to be assigned to the case, or the proceedings adjourned.

Rule 15 (C)

The principle that a Judge who confirms an indictment is contaminated for the purpose

of sitting on the trial of that case has been removed from this Rule. A confirming Judge

is now able to sit on both the appeal and the trial of a case he or she reviewed and confirmed.

Rule 54 bis

This new Rule sets out a procedure for binding orders and deals with the manner in which

States’national security interests are to be decided.

Rule 65

The requirement of ‘exceptional circumstances’ has been removed from the conditions of provisional release. Before this modification, detainees had to establish ‘exceptional circumstances’ before being released.

Rule 65 ter

The amendment to this Rule both increases the power and responsibility of the pre-trial Judge with regard to pre-trial management matters and increases and specifies the Defence role as to the pleading of its case (paragraph (F) ).

Rule 71

Amendments have been made to Rule 71 to make the taking of depositions easier. Accordingly, the requirement of ‘exceptional circumstances’ has been removed from Rule 71.

Rule 90(H)

In order to limit the recalling of witnesses and clarify the limits of the cross-examination, rule 90(H) has been amended and now requires that the cross-examining party puts its case to the witness where the witness’ evidence contradicts that case.

Minor Changes

The remaining amendments concern minor changes. These include Rule 33 which gives the Registrar an automatic right to make representations to a Chamber, and Rule 62 that now allows a single Judge to sit on an initial appearance without an order from the President. In addition, amendments have been made to Rule 28, which changes the way duty Judges are appointed, and Rule 98, which puts a time limit within which the Defence may file a motion requesting a judgement of acquittal.