Case No. IT-03-67-PT


Judge Carmel Agius, Presiding
Judge Jean Claude Antonetti
Judge Kevin Parker

Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
1 March 2005







The Office of the Prosecutor:

Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff
Mr. Ulrich Mussemeyer
Mr. Daniel Saxon

The Accused:

Mr. Vojislav Seselj

Standby counsel:

Mr. Tjarda Eduard van der Spoel


TRIAL CHAMBER II ("Trial Chamber") of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 ("Tribunal");

BEING SEISED OF the "Motion by the Accused for Normalisation of Conditions for Preparing a Defence" ("Motion"), filed on behalf of the Accused Vojislav Seselj ("Accused") on 9 November 2004, wherein he requests that the Trial Chamber order the Registry of the Tribunal ("Registry") that the twenty-two (22) individuals he identifies by name in the Motion "be entered in the Registry’s Register as members of an expert team assisting in the preparation of a defence for the Accused […], who is conducting his own defence before [the Tribunal]";1

NOTING that, in the Motion, the Accused restates his decision to conduct his own defence, submits that he himself satisfies all the conditions required for the appointment of counsel pursuant to Rule 44 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,2 and requires funds and the "registration of an expert team" to assist him in preparing his defence, because in his submission "[t]he right to represent oneself does not exclude the right of an accused to a team which would assist him in a defence";3

NOTING the "Prosecution’s Response to Motion by the Accused for Normalisation of Conditions for Preparing a Defence" ("Response"), filed on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor ("Prosecution") on 25 November 2004, wherein it submits that the Trial Chamber should deny the Motion on the ground that it should have instead been filed with the Registry;

NOTING the Decision on Extension of Time, filed on 6 December 2004, wherein the Pre-Trial Judge granted the Accused’s request for leave to reply and for an extension of time to reply, on the basis that a document referenced in the Response and requested by the Accused was of potential relevance to him;4

NOTING further that the Pre-Trial Judge instructed the Accused that he had seven days from the date of the filing of the Decision on Extension of Time within which to reply to the Response;

NOTING the Accused’s "Submission Number 63", filed on 30 December 2004, wherein he complains that the seven days for him to file a reply should instead run from the date when he receives the aforementioned document, and wherein for that reason he requests certification to appeal the Decision on Extension of Time;

NOTING that, as stated in the Decision on Extension of Time, the Pre-Trial Judge had orally instructed the Registry to provide the Accused with the aforementioned document, and had ensured that the Accused received it already prior to the date of the filing of the decision, and thus that the choice of that date as the date from which the extension of time was to run did not detract from the time period available to the Accused to reply but instead worked to the Accused’s advantage;5

CONSIDERING therefore that, for this reason, the Decision on Extension of Time does not involve an issue that satisfies the requirements laid down by Rule 73(B) for the Trial Chamber to grant certification to appeal;

NOTING the Accused’s Reply, filed on 30 December 2004, wherein he additionally submits that it is for the Trial Chamber to deal with all status-related issues concerning an accused, particularly in light of the fact that "the Registry is not a judicial authority but an administrative body in charge of technical matters";6

CONSIDERING that the Motion concerns matters arising out of Rules 447 and 458 or out of the Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel,9 which establish the conditions and arrangements for the appointment or assignment of counsel, and according to which the Registry has the primary responsibility in the determination of matters relating to the appointment or assignment of counsel and support staff;

NOTING the Accused’s "Submission Number 66", filed on 5 January 2005 and addressed to the Registry, from which it is apparent that the Accused and the Registry are still in the process of discussing the matters that the Accused raises in the Motion;

CONSIDERING therefore that the Motion is premature, since the Registry has not yet taken a decision on these matters;


PURSUANT TO Rules 54 and 73 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,

HEREBY REJECTS the Motion and DENIES the Accused’s request for certification to appeal the Decision on Extension of Time.


Done in English and French, the English version being authoritative.

Dated this first day of March 2005,
At The Hague
The Netherlands

Carmel Agius
Presiding Judge

[Seal of the Tribunal]

1. Motion, page 10.
2. Rules of Procedure and Evidence, IT/32/Rev.33, 17 December 2004 ("Rules").
3. Motion, page 3 and 10.
4. Decision on Request for Leave to Reply and for Extension of Time to Reply, 6 December 2004 ("Decision on Extension of Time").
5. See Decision on Extension of Time.
6. "Submission Number 64", 30 December 2004 ("Reply").
7. Rule 44 provides that “[c]ounsel engaged by a suspect or an accused shall file a power of attorney with the Registrar at the earliest opportunity", and goes on to enumerate the criteria that counsel must satisfy the Registry of.
8. Paragraph (A) of Rule 45 provides that “[w]henever the interests of justice so demand, counsel shall be assigned to suspects or accused who lack the means to remunerate such counsel", and paragraph (B) provides that for this purpose the Registry shall maintain a list of counsel who satisfy it of the criteria enumerated therein.
9. Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel, Directive No. 1/94, IT/73/Rev. 10, 4 August 2004 ("Directive"). The Directive also provides that an accused who wishes to be assigned counsel shall make a request to the Registry, and that any person may be assigned as counsel if the Registry is satisfied that he or she is admitted to the list envisaged in Rule 45(B) of the Rules, for which it sets out the criteria for eligibility. The Directive also establishes that, at the request of lead counsel, the Registry may assign other persons such as "legal assistants, consultants, investigators and interpreters, as required, to provide support to counsel" ("support staff"): see Articles 7(A), 14(A), 16(C)(iii) of the Directive.