International Courts & Tribunals at a Glance

International Courts & Tribunals at a Glance (No. 24)

International Courts & Tribunals at a Glance, a juscogens.net feature, aims to provide timely notice of recent happenings and trial developments in an organized, central location and an unbiased, objective manner. For comments or suggestions, please contact editor@juscogens.net.

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

The International Court of Justice revises Practice Directions IX and XI and adopts new Practice Directions IXbis and IXter (13 December 2006)

From the ICJ: “As part of the ongoing review of its procedures and working methods, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has revised Practice Directions IX and XI and adopted new Practice Directions IXbis and IXter. As amended, paragraph 2 of Practice Direction IX is intended as a reminder that a party wishing to produce new documents after the closure of the written proceedings, including during the oral proceedings, must follow the procedure set out in Article 56, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Rules of the Court; the provisions of paragraphs 1 to 3 of Article 56 are supplemented by Practice Direction IX. Practice Direction IXbis provides the parties with guidance concerning their entitlement under Article 56, paragraph 4, of the Rules to refer during oral proceedings to the contents of a document which is “part of a publication readily available”. Practice Direction IXter gives further guidance to the parties as to the preparation of “folders of documents for the convenience of the judges during oral proceedings”. In Practice Direction XI, the first sentence of the existing text was deleted.”

Practice Directions I-XIIPdficon_small_165
Cases currently being heard/under deliberation:

Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro)
Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) –Public hearing opened on 18 December 2006 (re: Uruguay’s request for the indication of provisional measures)
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)

Overview of Court Proceedings

Overview of Court Documents

Court Schedule (winter recess until 8 January 2007)

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing (6 December 2006)

President Pocar Address Before Security Council (15 December 2006)

From the ICTY: “Appearing before the UN Security Council today to provide an update on the implementation of the Tribunal’s mandate and the Completion Strategy since his last briefing in June 2006, President Fausto Pocar stated that despite being a period of extreme difficulties requiring rapid response and adjustment to change, the last six months have been one of the most, if not the most, productive periods in the Tribunal’s history. In his speech, President Pocar noted that as a result of significant reorganisation of the Trial Chambers and efficient pre-trial management, the Tribunal commenced its remaining two multi-accused trials six months ahead of schedule. The President expressed particular satisfaction that the Trial Chambers were able to try, at one point during the reporting period, a record number of 25 accused in six trials simultaneously. He also informed the Council that because of the flexibility and dedication of the Judges of the Tribunal, as well as the cooperation of the parties and the Registry, an unprecedented seventh trial would commence in early January 2007. He further remarked that the Appeals Chamber has brought 8 proceedings involving 11 accused to a close in the calendar year, making it the most productive in the history of the Appeals Chamber. Citing the ever diminishing caseload as evidence of the commendable efforts taken by the Tribunal, the President recalled that of the 161 persons charged by the Tribunal, cases against 100 accused have been closed and the majority of the remaining cases are currently being tried or are on appeal. The President stressed that for the Tribunal, efficient completion of trials and appeals was not only a matter of Completion Strategy dates but of respect for fundamental human rights norms and due process….Finally, the President confirmed that trials would be completed no later than 2009 and that all appeals were expected to be disposed of within the two years of the end of trials. He highlighted a number of key factors that would influence that timeframe, most notably the success of the multi-accused trials, and the critical issue of the six outstanding fugitives, in particular Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić. As in previous reports, the President expressed grave concern that for a decade, the Tribunal has called for their arrest without result. President Pocar closed by affirming the commitment of the Tribunal to meeting the Completion Strategy objectives while upholding the highest standards of due process, and called upon Member States of the Council to maintain full support for the Tribunal in the final years of the mandate. “Together, we must see the historic work of the Tribunal through for the cause of international justice, the continued fight against impunity, and the promotion of international peace and security.””

Full-text, “STATEMENT BY JUDGE FAUSTO POCAR, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA 15 DECEMBER 2006”
The Prosecutor’s Address to the Security Council (15 December 2006)

From the ICTY: “The Tribunal’s Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, addressed today the UN Security Counsel with a view to provide her regular assessment of the progress made in the completion strategy highlighting the problems and obstacles hampering it. She sought fresh and clear guidance from the Council on the fundamental issues of the completion strategy. The Prosecutor focused her address on efforts made by her Office together with the Chambers to speed up trials while trying to maintain the highest standards of fair trial and due process. She noted the prosecution’s successful initiatives: – to join cases with similar crimes resulting in three ongoing multiple-accused trials, – to submit more written evidence in the trials leading to significant savings of the court time; – to request acceptance of more facts as judicial notice avoiding the need to prove these facts again. The Prosecutor emphasised that she had acted in cooperative spirit when directed by the Judges to select counts on which to proceed and to limit time for presentation of the prosecution cases. In terms of transfer of Rule 11 bis cases to the national jurisdictions the Prosecutor expressed her view that the Tribunal has reached the limits in this matter and, unless the Security Council modifies the seniority conditions under which an accused can be transferred to local courts, there is no legal possibility to transfer more cases. And therefore, in her view, with the present case-load it will not be possible to achieve the target date of 2008. The Prosecutor also drew the attention of the Council to the negative reactions of the victims’ groups in the region in regard to the envisaged completion of the Tribunal’s work, while six accused, including Karadzic and Mladic remain at large. Speaking about the level of co-operation of the authorities in the region the Prosecutor stated: “While the judicial authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and in Serbia have stepped up their efforts to try war crimes, the political bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia have not shown the political will necessary to arrest the remaining fugitives.” The Prosecutor suggested the following steps to be taken – first, the Security Council to consider changing the conditions under which an accused can be transferred to national courts; – second, by full and forceful support of the Security Council to encourage strengthening of the political will to arrest remaining fugitives; – and third, the Security Council to confirm in clear form that there remains the possibility for the Tribunal to complete its mandate in dignified and successful manner with remaining fugitives like Karadzic and Mladic being brought to trial in The Hague.”

Full-text, “ADDRESS BY CARLA DEL PONTE, PROSECUTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL 15 DECEMBER 2006”
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)

Daily Journal

Daily Case Minutes

Judicial Calendar

ICTR Newsletter (November 2006)Pdficon_small_166

Catholic Priest Athanase Seromba Sentenced to Fifteen Years (13 December 2006)

From the ICTR: “Trial Chamber III of the ICTR today found Athanase Seromba, former priest of Nyange Parish, Kivumu commune, guilty of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. The Chamber dismissed the alternative count of complicity in genocide, and acquitted the accused of the count of conspiracy to commit genocide. Seromba was then sentenced to a single term of fifteen years imprisonment and the Chamber ruled that the accused would receive credit for time already served since his surrender to the Tribunal on 6 February 2002. For the purpose of sentencing the accused, the Chamber composed of Judges Andrésia Vaz, presiding, Karin Hökborg and Gberdao Gustav Kam, considered as aggravating factors: his authority as a respected Catholic priest; the trust he had from several Tutsi refugees who had taken shelter in his parish to elude massacres; and his failure to live up to the trust of the refugees who thought their lives would be safe there. As mitigating factors, the Chamber considered that Seromba had a good reputation prior to the events of 1994; he was relatively young at the time of the events; and his voluntary surrender to the Tribunal. The Chamber ruled that in his capacity as a Catholic parish priest, based on the situation prevailing throughout Rwanda during 1994, Seromba must have been aware of the intent of the attackers of the refugees at the parish. For the charge of extermination as a crime against humanity, the Chamber found that the Prosecution established beyond a reasonable doubt that a large number of Tutsi seeking refuge at the Parish were surrounded on or about 12 April 1994 by Interahamwe, militiamen and gendarmes. When the Tutsi refugees repelled the attack, the Interahamwe, and militiamen used grenades to attack the parish. It was further established beyond reasonable doubt that Seromba spoke to the driver of the bulldozer, encouraging and identifying to the driver when to start the demolition of the parish and which parts of the parish were the weakest. The Chamber found that Seromba orally aided and abetted the assailants to demolish the Church. Seromba’s trial commenced on 20 September 2004 before Chamber III and the Prosecution closed its case on 25 January 2005 after calling 15 witnesses. The Defence closed its case on 27 April 2006 after the Chamber heard 24 defence witnesses. Seromba is represented by Patrice Monthé and Barnabe Nekuie, both from Cameroon. [ ]t [sic] the time of the indictment, Seromba was working as a priest, under a false identity, in two parishes near Florence, Italy. He was arrested and detained in Arusha after his surrender to the Tribunal on 6 February 2002. He made his initial appearance before the Tribunal on 8 February 2002 and pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.”

Nzabirinda’s Guilty Plea Accepted (14 December 2006)

From the ICTR: “Joseph Nzabirinda, nickname ‘Biroto’, former businessman and youth organiser in Sahera sector, Ngoma commune appeared today before Trial Chamber II composed of Judges Arlette Ramaroson, presiding, William Sekule and Solomy Balungi Bossa and pleaded guilty to the new indictment charging him with one count of murder as a crime against humanity. The Chamber accepted his new plea and set 17 January 2007 for the sentencing hearing. In the new indictment, amended on 9 December 2006, and in the plea agreement between the parties of the same date, Nzabirinda is charged with one count of murder as a crime against humanity. During the hearing, the Prosecution stated that Nzabirinda was an approving spectator as a result of his presence during the attacks. The Defence agreed that the accused had no blood on his hands but was an accomplice by omission. The Prosecution withdrew its previous charges of the indictment of 2001 due to lack of evidence. The Chamber granted the request of the Defence that Nzabirinda be held in a secure location, away from other detainees to ensure his security until his sentence hearing. Addressing the Chamber, the accused expressed deep remorse for his crimes and asked for pardon from the people of Rwanda for the crimes committed. In the initial indictment of 6 December 2001, the accused was charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, extermination as a crime against humanity and rape as a crime against humanity. In his initial appearance of 27 March 2002 the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges. zabirinda, born in 1957, in Sahera sector, was arrested in Brussels on 26 July 2001and transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility on 21 March 2002. The accused is alleged to have participated in meetings with the Interahamwe during which the planned execution of Tutsis was discussed. It is further alleged that he encouraged attacks on the Tutsi gathered at Kabakobwe hill and at roadblocks throughout Sahera sector.”

Prosecutor and Registrar pay courtesy call on UN Secretary-General (14 December 2006)

From the ICTR: “The Prosecutor of the ICTR, Mr. Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow and the ICTR Registrar, Mr. Adama Dieng, on Thursday 14 December 2006 paid a courtesy call on the outgoing UN Secretary-General, H.E Mr. Kofi Annan at his office at UN Headquarters in New York. During the visit, Justice Jallow, who was also accompanied by Mr. Charles Adeogun-Phillips, Senior Trial Attorney, congratulated H.E Mr. Annan on his successful 10 year tenure as the UN Secretary-General. Describing the Secretary-General as a “pillar of encouragement, understanding and support to the cause of International criminal justice”, Justice Jallow paid tribute to the Secretary-General’s commitment to the fight against impunity. Justice Jallow also briefed the Secretary-General on the progress of the ICTR completion strategy and confirmed that Tribunal was on schedule to complete its work as anticipated. The Registrar of the Tribunal, Mr. Adama Dieng, also briefed the Secretary-General on a vast range of administrative and budgetary matters falling within his preview as Registrar. He also conveyed, to H.E Annan, the best wishes of all ICTR staff members. The Secretary-General expressed his satisfaction at the achievements recorded by the ICTR to date. He also paid glorying tribute to the selfless service of the men and women who are involved in the work of the Tribunal and requested that his best wishes be conveyed to them.”

The Security Council Considers ICTR’s Completion Strategy (16 December 2006)

From the ICTR: “The President and the Prosecutor of the ICTR today in New York provided an update to the UN Security Council on its completion strategy. In that regard, the President and the Prosecutor both confirmed that the Tribunal is on schedule to complete cases involving between sixty-five and seventy accused persons by the end of 2008, as envisaged in the ICTR completion strategy. The President, Judge Erik Mose stated that a total of 32 accused persons have now received judgments following their trials before the ICTR. He stated that another four judgments following recently concluded trials are expected soon. The President reported that nine trials, involving 25 accused persons are currently in progress with several judgments due to be rendered in 2007. The President in his report also confirmed that a total of nine detainees are currently awaiting trials. Finally, the President reiterated the need for member states to cooperate in the arrest and transfer of all indictees still at large to the ICTR, as well as to receive acquitted persons. In his report, the Prosecutor of the ICTR, Mr. Justice Hassan Jallow reported that since his last report to the Security Council in June 2006, five trials which were ongoing during the said period have now been completed. He further reported that during the same period, several new trials had commenced as planned. The Prosecutor reported that there had however been no arrest of fugitives during the said period. Justice Jallow further reported that he was confident that all ongoing trials as well as those earmarked for trial in Arusha, save for those relating to top level fugitives such as Felicien Kabuga would conclude during 2007 and 2008. The Prosecutor reported that his focus in the coming year will be geared towards the timely and efficient conclusion of the ongoing trials, the preparation of additional cases for trial, the intensification of the tracking and arrest programme, as well as the referral of cases to national jurisdictions.”

Full-Text, “STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE ICTR JUDGE ERIK MØSE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL”
Latest Decisions (All decisions Pdficon_small_167) :

Nahimana et al., Case No. ICTR-99-52-A, DECISION ON JEAN-BOSCO BARAYAGWIZA’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION AND GUIDANCE FOLLOWING THE DECISION OF THE APPEALS CHAMBER DATED 16 JUNE 2006 IN PROSECUTOR V. KAREMERA ET AL. CASE AND PROSECUTOR’S MOTION TO OBJECT TO THE LATE FILING OF JEAN-BOSCO BARAYAGWIZA’S REPLY (8 December 2006)
Nahimana et al., Case No. ICTR-99-52-A, DECISION ON APPELLANT JEAN-BOSCO BARAYAGWIZA’S MOTIONS FOR LEAVE TO PRESENT ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE PURSUANT TO RULE 115 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE (8 December 2006)
The PROSECUTOR v. Joseph NZABIRINDA, Case No. ICTR – 2001 – 77 – PT, DECISION ON THE PROSECUTION’S UNDER SEAL AND CONFIDENTIAL MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND THE INDICTMENT (8 December 2006)
Georges Anderson Nderubumwe RUTAGANDA v. THE PROSECUTOR, Case No. ICTR-96-03-R, Decision on Requests for Reconsideration, Review, Assignment of Counsel, Disclosure, and Clarification (8 December 2006)
Karemera et al., Case No. ICTR-98-44-T, DECISION ON APPEALS CHAMBER REMAND OF JUDICAL NOTICE: Rules 94 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (11 December 2006)
Karemera et al., Case No. ICTR-98-44-T, DECISION ON PROSECUTION MOTION FOR ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE OF RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT PURSUANT TO RULE 92 BIS OF THE RULES; AND ORDER FOR REDUCTION OF PROSECUTION WITNESS LIST: Rules 92bis and 73bis (D) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (11 December 2006)
The PROSECUTOR v. Joseph NZABIRINDA, Case No. ICTR-01-77-PT, DECISION ON NZABIRINDA’S UNDER SEAL-EXTREMELY URGENT MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR CHARACTER WITNESSES (13 December 2006)
The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL)

Court Schedule (Judicial Recess: 18 December – 5 January)

Court Summary, Week Ended 15 December 2006Pdficon_small_168

Case Developments & Resources (all decisions Pdficon_small_169) :

The Civil Defence Forces (CDF) Accused

Decision regarding Prosecution and Kondewa final trial brief (15 December 2006)
The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) Accused

The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (ARFC) Accused

Prosecutor v. Charles Taylor

Decision on Defence motion for leave to file an oversized filing of ‘Defence motion on adequate time and facilities for the preparation of Mr. Taylor’s Defence’ (11 December 2006)
Decision on Defence motion for urgent reconsideration of “Decision on Defence motion for leave to file an oversized motion: ‘Defence motion on adequate time and facilities for the preparation of Mr. Taylor’s Defence’ (14 December 2006)
International Criminal Court (ICC)

Hearing Schedule

ICC Newsletter (November 2006)

Resignation of Judge Maureen Harding Clark (11 December 2006)

From the ICC: “Judge Maureen Harding Clark has resigned from the International Criminal Court (ICC) effective 10 December 2006. In her letter to the President of the ICC, Judge Philippe Kirsch, tendering her resignation, Judge Clark indicated that she has been asked to serve on the High Court of Ireland and that under Irish law she was required to resign from the ICC in order to be appointed to the High Court….The Presidency informed the President of the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties, H.E. Bruno Stagno Ugarte of Judge Clark’s resignation. In accordance with article 37 of the Rome Statute, the Assembly of States Parties will elect a judge to fill the vacancy left by Judge Clark’s resignation.”

ICC Prosecutor Ready with Evidence Against Darfur War Criminals (14 December 2006)

From the ICC: “Today, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo informed the United Nations Security Council that he has nearly completed an investigation into some of the worst crimes committed in Darfur. He is preparing to submit evidence to the ICC judges no later than February 2007 and is putting measures in place to protect victims and witnesses. The evidence in this emerging first case points to specific individuals who appear to bear the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity including persecution, torture, murder, and rape. The Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor in March 2005. This progress occurs within the context of continued violence in Darfur and an apparent spill over of crime and violence into Chad and the Central African Republic. “This Council has recognized that justice for victims will contribute to enhancing security and will send an important warning – beyond the borders of Darfur – to those individuals who might otherwise resort to violence and the commission of crimes to achieve their aims,” Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said. The Prosecutor’s first case focuses on a series of incidents in 2003 and 2004, when the most serious crimes occurred in large numbers. Perhaps most significant, the evidence reveals the underlying operational system that enabled the commission of these massive crimes.”

Situations & Cases (All documents Pdficon_small_170 ):

Situation in Dafur, Sudan

Fourth Report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to the Security Council pursuant to UNSC 1593 (2005) (14 December 2006)
Situation in Central African Republic

Prosecution’s Report Pursuant to Pre-Trial Chamber III’s 30 November 2006 Decision Requesting Information on the Status of the Preliminary Examination of the Situation in the Central African Republic (15 December 2006)
Situation in Uganda

The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen (Pre-Trial Phase)
Présentation d’informations supplémentaires sur les progrès réalisés dans l’exécution des mandats d’arrêt dans la situation en Ouganda (8 December 2006)
Situation in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo (Pre-Trial Phase)
Dissenting Opinion of Judge Pikis to the Order of the Appeals Chamber issued on 4 December 2006 (11 December 2006)
Decision of the Appeals Chamber (12 December 2006)
Judgment on the Appeal of Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo against the Decision on the Defence Challenge to the Jurisdiction of the Court pursuant to article 19 (2) (a) of the Statute of 3 October 2006 (14 December 2006)
Judgment on the appeal of Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I entitled “First Decision on the Prosecution Requests and Amended Requests for Redactions under Rule 81” (14 December 2006)
Judgment on the appeal of Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I entitled “Second Decision on the Prosecution Requests and Amended Requests for Redactions under Rule 81” (14 December 2006)
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)

President Wolfrum addresses General Assembly (11 December 2006)Pdficon_small_171

“Statement by Mr Rudiger Wolfrum,President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, on Agenda item 71 (a) at the plenary of the sixty-first session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 8 December 2006″Pdficon_small_172
Pending Cases and current statu