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Amendments to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence at the 22nd Plenary Session.

Press Release TRIBUNAL

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 31 July 2000

Amendments to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence at the 22nd Plenary Session.

The Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) held their 22nd Plenary Session on 13 and 14 July 2000, during which they amended eight of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence. These amendments will come into force on Wednesday 2 August 2000.

The following Rules have been amended:

Rule 28; Rule 44; Rule 45; Rule 46; Rule 50; Rule 65; Rule 94 bis; and Rule 116 bis.

The amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence are available from the Public Information Services and on our website.

The Main Changes

The most significant amendments are as follows:

1) Rule 28 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence:

Reviewing and Duty Judges

This change allows a Duty Judge, who is not a member of the Chamber to which a particular case has been assigned, to make Decisions on the hearing of the initial appearance and on the provisional detention, pursuant to Rule 40 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

2) Changes in section 2 of the fourth chapter of the Rules:

Of Counsel

The changes concern the qualifications and the disciplining of Counsel before the Tribunal, and allow sanctions for non-compliance with disciplinary measures.

2.a) Rule 44:

Appointment, Qualifications and Duties of Counsel

The text states that Counsel must speak one of the two official working languages of the Tribunal. As an exception, the Registrar may admit a Counsel who does not speak either of the two languages, but who speaks the native language of his client, under two conditions: the suspect or the accused shall request it and the interests of justice shall so demand. The Registrar may impose such conditions as deemed appropriate. A suspect or accused may appeal a decision of the Registrar to the President.

An Advisory Panel is established to assist the President and the Registrar. It is composed of representatives of professional associations and of Counsel who have already appeared before the Tribunal, who have recognised professional legal experience and come from different legal systems. The Panel shall be consulted on all matters relating to Defence Counsel. A Directive of the Registrar shall set out its structure and areas of responsibility.

2.b) Rule 45:

Assignment of Counsel

The order of the first three paragraphs has been modified.

The first paragraph states that the assignment of Defence Counsel at the Tribunal’s expense shall be made under two conditions: the interests of justice so demand and the suspect or accused lacks the financial means. The procedure giving rise to the assignment of Counsel shall be set out in a Directive prepared by the Registrar and approved by the Judges.

The second paragraph requires Defence Counsel who wish to be assigned to possess reasonable experience in criminal and/or international law.

The third paragraph provides for exceptions to the principle, namely that the Registrar may assign a Counsel whose name does not appear on the list.

The other paragraphs state that the suspect or the accused may have his request re-examined, that the Registrar determines the level of payment in consultation with the Judges, and that legal aid granted by mistake may be recovered.

2.c) Rule 46:

Misconduct of Counsel

This change provides for the adoption and implementation of a Code of Professional Conduct to be published by the Registrar under the supervision of the President of the Tribunal in order to regulate the activities of Counsel.

3) Rule 50:

Amendment of Indictment

Before the assignment of a case to a Trial Chamber, the Judge who confirmed the Indictment, or a Judge assigned by the President, may authorise its amendment. Once the case has been assigned to a Trial Chamber, that Trial Chamber, or one of its members, may grant leave to amend the Indictment, once the parties have been heard.

4) Rule 65:

Provisional Release

The Appeals Chamber may grant provisional release. The changes to the original text lay out the guarantees that the Appellant shall provide before he or she can benefit from this measure and include the requirement that "special circumstances" exist for the Appellant’s release.

The Minor Changes

The remaining changes to Sub-rule 73(C), Sub-rule 85(A)(vi), Rule 94 bis and Rule 116 bis are editorial in nature.



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