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Orientation and Training Programme for Defence Counsel appearing before the ICTY.

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 28 May 2001



The Office of Legal Aid and Detention Matters (OLAD) of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in cooperation with the non-governmental organisation Coalition for International Justice (CIJ) held a four-day training programme for defence counsel appearing before the ICTY. The programme, entitled "Orientation and Training Programme for Litigation Before
the ICTY for Defence Counsel" was held in The Hague, 24-27 May 2001.

The programme was the first in a series of events intended to offer defence counsel appearing before the Tribunal with an opportunity to become more familiar with the Tribunal’s procedures. Functioning within a unique and specific international context, the proceedings before the Tribunal combine experiences from both the continental and the common law traditions and are thus
different from those before courts in national systems. The Tribunal endeavours to make every effort to assist defence counsel in providing their clients with the best possible defence.

This first training session was attended by 13 defence counsel, most of them from the territory of the former Yugoslavia who are currently involved in cases before the Tribunal, or potential defence counsel who are on the Tribunal’s list of counsel who can appear before the ICTY.

The training consisted of two segments, a theoretical and a practical one, both run by independent legal experts. During the first two days, the participants were offered a thorough analysis of the Tribunal’s establishing documents, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, as well as an overview of the continental and common law legal traditions and how they are represented in the
Tribunal’s Rules. The lecturers discussed elements of criminal procedure in national systems and at the ICTY with a comparative approach to promote understanding of the specifics of the criminal procedure at the Tribunal. The second half of the programme focused on courtroom techniques and the participants took active part to better their skills. The training concluded with a thorough
analysis of the substantive law applied by the Tribunal as stipulated in the Statute and the international legal context in which this law functions.

Mr. Hans Holthuis, Registrar of the Tribunal, Mr. Christian Rohde, OLAD Coordinator, as well as other staff members of the Tribunal’s Registry closely followed the training in order to better assist defence counsel in their efforts.