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Judges Amend Rules 73(D) and 98bis at Plenary Session

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 10 December 2004



On Wednesday 8 December 2004, the permanent Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia held their thirty-first Plenary Session.

At the Plenary, the Judges accordingly amended Rule 73 (D) and Rule 98bis of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence to read as follows:

Rule 73
Other Motions

(A) After a case is assigned to a Trial Chamber, either party may at any time move before the Chamber by way of motion, not being a preliminary motion, for appropriate ruling or relief. Such motions may be written or oral, at the discretion of the Trial Chamber.

(B) Decisions on all motions are without interlocutory appeal save with certification by the Trial Chamber, which may grant such certification if the decision involves an issue that would significantly affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings or the outcome of the trial, and for which, in the opinion of the Trial Chamber, an immediate resolution by the Appeals
Chamber may materially advance the proceedings.

(C) Requests for certification shall be filed within seven days of the filing of the impugned decision. Where such decision is rendered orally, this time-limit shall run from the date of the oral decision, unless

(i) the party challenging the decision was not present or represented when the decision was pronounced, in which case the time-limit shall run from the date on which the challenging party is notified of the oral decision; or

(ii) the Trial Chamber has indicated that a written decision will follow, in which case the time-limit shall run from filing of the written decision.

If certification is given, a party shall appeal to the Appeals Chamber within seven days of the filing of the decision to certify.

(D) Irrespective of any sanctions which may be imposed under Rule 46 (A), when a Chamber finds that a motion is frivolous or is an abuse of process, the Registrar shall withhold payment of fees associated with the production of that motion and/ or costs thereof.

Rule 98 bis
Motion for Judgement of Acquittal

(A) An accused may file a motion for the entry of judgement of acquittal on one or more offences charged in the indictment within seven days after the close of the Prosecutor’s case and, in any event, prior to the presentation of evidence by the defence pursuant to Rule 85 (A)(ii).

(B) The Trial Chamber shall order the entry of judgement of acquittal on motion of an accused or proprio motu if it finds that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction on that or those charges.

At the close of the Prosecutor’s case, the Trial Chamber shall, by oral decision and after hearing the oral submissions of the parties, enter a judgement of acquittal on any count if there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction.

Pursuant to Rule 6 (D), this amendment shall enter into force seven days after the date of issue of an official Tribunal document containing the amendment, i.e., on 17 December 2004.