by Dominic Kennedy, Head of Office for the ADC-ICTY.
The Association of Defence Counsel practising before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) (http://adc-icty.org/) in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Institute (UNICRI) (http://www.unicri.it) has recently published ‘The Manual on International Criminal Defence, ADC-ICTY Developed Practices’.
The Manual on International Criminal Defence is a major achievement, not only for the defence in war crimes trials but also in the contribution that it makes to the field of international criminal law. It is a ground-breaking publication which is the first of its kind. It has been drafted by lawyers who practice or practised before the ICTY. The Manual provides a practical perspective by those who have had first hand experience of representing defendants in major war crimes cases. The Manual crystallises the knowledge gained by those practitioners at the ICTY and should hopefully assist lawyers in future war crimes cases wherever they might be practicing.
The Manual provides a comprehensive account of defence practice at the ICTY, covering all stages of its proceedings. It includes chapters on developing a case theory and defence strategy, defence investigations, affirmative defences in international criminal trials, examination of witnesses, plea agreements and appeals. Each chapter is accompanied with examples of motions and practical illustrations specifically relevant to the peculiarities arising in these sort of cases.
The Manual also includes a DVD which contains all documents referred to in each chapter as well as other examples of written submissions. There is also a complete list of expert witnesses who have testified before the ICTY along with their expert reports.
The Manual forms part of the War Crimes Justice Project, funded by the European Union, which aims at preserving the legacy of the ICTY, in particular in the region of the Former Yugoslavia. The Manual has also been published in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Albanian and it is hoped it will be published in French in the near future. An electronic version of the English Manual is available at: