Case: IT-97-24-A


Judge Theodor Meron, Pre-Appeal Judge

Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
15 August 2003

Milomir STAKIC




Counsel for the Prosecutor:

Mr. Norman Farrell

Counsel for the Defence:

Mr. Branko D. Lukic
Mr. John R. Ostojic


I, THEODOR MERON, President 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 ("International Tribunal"),

NOTING the "Order Assigning Judges to a Case Before the Appeals Chamber and Appointing Pre-Appeal Judge" filed on 14 August 2003 which, inter alia, designated me to serve as Pre-Appeal Judge in this case;

NOTING that Trial Chamber II rendered its Judgement in this case on 31 July 2003 ("Judgement");

NOTING the "Defendant, Milomir Stakicís Motion to Enlarge Time for Filing of the Notice of Appeal" filed by counsel for Milomir Stakic ("Defence" and "Stakic", respectively) on 11 August 2003 ("Motion") and the "Prosecution Response to Motion for Extension of Time in which to File Notice of Appeal" filed by the Office of the Prosecutor on 13 August 2003;

CONSIDERING that Stakic seeks an extension of time for the filing of his notice of appeal until 30 days from the date he receives a copy of the Judgement in B/C/S mainly on the ground that such time is needed to read the Judgement in his own language and prepare a notice of appeal which is specific enough to be in compliance with the requirements for the filing of notices of appeal set out in Rule 108 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence ("Rules") and in the Practice Direction on Formal Requirements for Appeals from Judgement (IT 201) of 7 March 2002;

CONSIDERING that Rule 108 of the Rules provides that "[a] party seeking to appeal a judgement shall, not more than thirty days from the date on which the judgment was pronounced, file a notice of appeal, setting forth the grounds", and that the rule further states that "[t]he Appeals Chamber may, on good cause being shown by motion, authorise a variation of the grounds of appeal";

CONSIDERING that the Conference and Language Services Section has advised the Appeals Chamber that a B/C/S translation of the Judgement will be available only on 1 December 2003;

CONSIDERING that the filing of a notice of appeal marks the very beginning of the appeal proceedings in a case, and that since the time limits for the filing of appellantís briefs, respondentís briefs, and briefs in reply are calculated from the date on which the notice of appeal is filed, any delays at such an early stage will affect subsequent filings;

CONSIDERING that the Defence, having chosen English as the working language for the case, is able to understand the Judgement, to discuss with Stakic possible grounds of appeal and to advise him as to potential errors of facts and law contained therein and that the determination of potential grounds of appeal falls primarily within the purview of the Defence;

CONSIDERING, therefore, that the Defence is in a position to file a notice of appeal within the time limit provided for under Rule 108 of the Rules;

FINDING that there is not good cause under Rule 127(B) of the Rules for granting an extension of time for the filing of the notice of appeal;

CONSIDERING further that after the Judgement becomes available in the B/C/S language, the Defence may request pursuant to Rule 108 of the Rules, to vary or specify in greater detail the grounds of appeal or to file additional grounds of appeal;



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

Dated this 15th day of August 2003,
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

Judge Theodor Meron
Pre-Appeal Judge

[Seal of the Tribunal]