Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 18 July 2003
28th PLENARY OF THE ICTY JUDGES
On Thursday 17 July 2003, the Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia held their 28th Plenary Session, as provided by the Statute.
During the Plenary, the Judges discussed amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as prepared and proposed by the Rules Committee.
Following the adoption of Security Council resolution 1481, permitting ad litem Judges to adjudicate in pre-trial proceedings, the Judges introduced amendments to Rules 62, 65 bis (A) and 65 ter (A) in order to allow ad litem Judges to preside over initial appearances, status conferences and to act as the Pre-trial Judge.
In order to provide for more efficient tools of trial management, the Judges amended Rule 73 bis to include a discretionary power to fix a number of crime sites or incidents as representative of the crimes charged in the indictment. The final determination as to which sites or incidents to present remains with the Prosecutor.
The amendments to Rule 73 bis are highlighted as follows:
Rule 73 bis
Prior to the commencement of the trial, the Trial Chamber shall hold a Pre-Trial Conference.
In the light of the file submitted to the Trial Chamber by the pre-trial Judge pursuant to Rule 65 ter (L)(i), the Trial Chamber may call upon the Prosecutor to shorten the estimated length of the examination-in-chief for some witnesses.
In the light of the file submitted to the Trial Chamber by the pre-trial Judge pursuant to Rule 65 ter (L)(i), the Trial Chamber, after having heard the Prosecutor, shall determine set the number of witnesses the Prosecutor may call.
(i) the number of witnesses the Prosecutor may call;
(ii) and the time available to the Prosecutor for presenting evidence.
After having heard the Prosecutor, the Trial Chamber may fix a number of crime sites or incidents comprised in one or more of the charges in respect of which evidence may be presented by the Prosecutor which, having regard to all the relevant circumstances, including the crimes charged in the indictment, their classification and nature, the places where they are alleged to have
been committed, their scale and the victims of the crimes, are reasonably representative of the crimes charged.
After commencement of the trial, the Prosecutor may, if he or she considers it to be in the interests of justice, file a motion to reinstate the list of witnesses or to vary the decision as to which witnesses are to be called. the number of crime sites or incidents in respect of which evidence may be presented or the number of witnesses that are to be called or for additional
time to present evidence and the Trial Chamber may grant the Prosecutor’s request if satisfied that this is in the interests of justice.
After having heard the Prosecutor, the Trial Chamber shall determine the time available to the Prosecutor for presenting evidence.
During a trial, the Trial Chamber may grant the Prosecutor's request for additional time to present evidence if this is in the interests of justice.
The amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence will enter into force seven days after publication of the official document containing the text in both languages.
At the Plenary, the Judges also approved the draft Annual Report for 2002 – 2003.