Latest Newsletter of the ICTY Association of Defence Counsel

ADC-ICTY-300x300The Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) has published its latest newsletter.

This edition covers the recent developments in the Mladić and Karadžić cases.

The newsletter also addresses the recent cases which took place at the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Moreover, the Newsletter provides a detailed summary of a conference which took place last January in Berlin and which gathered Defence Counsel from various International Tribunals.

Finally, the Newsletter analyses the upcoming challenges of the New Kosovo Tribunal which will be established in The Hague.

General Zdravko Tolimir Passed Away in Jail

Zdravko TolimirZdravko Tolimir passed away last night in the United Nations Detention Unit in The Hague.

In April last year, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) upheld the Trial Chamber’s convictions and found Tolimir, the former intelligence chief of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Main Headquarters, guilty of involvement in genocide against thousands of Bosniak men and boys from Srebrenica after the UN-protected ‘safe area’ was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.

Gen Zdravko Tolimir, 67, was given a life term in jail. The cause of his death has not yet been made public.

ADC-ICTY: Legal Internship Opportunity

ADC-ICTY-300x300The Association of Defence Counsel practicing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY) based in The Hague, is currently seeking applications for legal interns to start as soon as possible in assisting Defence Counsel with ongoing cases.

Interns will be involved in a range of tasks including, but not limited to; conducting legal research, preparing witness summaries, witness preparation, factual research, writing legal memoranda, case management tasks and supporting Defence Counsel in their daily work.

Additionally to the internship, the ADC regularly organises field trips and social activities for its interns. Interns also have the possibility of joining the ADC Newsletter Team and the ICTY Intern Career Development Committee.

Internships are available starting now, for a period of three to six months, full-time or part-time. Please note: The ADC-ICTY internships are unpaid.

For more information on the internship opportunity and for application submissions, please click here.

ICTY: Retrial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović

Jovica Stanišić and Franko SimatovićThe Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), quashed the Trial Chamber’s decision to acquit Jovica Stanišić, formerly Deputy Chief and Chief of the State Security Service (SDB) of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, and Franko Simatović, formerly Deputy Chief of the Second Administration of the Serbian SDB and special advisor in the SDB. The Appeals Chamber ordered that Stanišić and Simatović be retried on all counts of the indictment.

In the indictment, the Prosecution alleged that between April 1991 and 31 December 1995, Stanišić and Simatović participated in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE) whose purpose was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs, principally Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and Bosnian Croats from large areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The indictment alleged that the JCE involved the commission of murder and crimes against humanity. Stanišić and Simatović were also charged with having planned, ordered and/or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation and/or execution of the crimes alleged in the indictment.

On 30 May 2013, the Trial Chamber found that many of the crimes alleged in the indictment were indeed perpetrated by various Serb Forces. However, the Trial Chamber found neither Stanišić nor Simatović responsible for committing these crimes through participation in a JCE as it found that it was not established beyond reasonable doubt that they possessed the requisite intent to further the common criminal purpose. The Trial Chamber also found that it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Stanišić or Simatović planned or ordered these crimes and, by majority, that they aided and abetted these crimes. Based on the above, the Trial Chamber, by majority, acquitted Stanišić and Simatović under all counts of the indictment.

As a consequence of the Appeals Chamber’s Judgement, the detention of Stanišić and Simatović was ordered at the United Nations Detention Unit in The Hague.

Naser Orić Will Face Trial in Bosnia

Naser OricThe United Nations Mechanisms for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) has rejected a request from former Bosnian Army General Naser Orić’s lawyers to order the Bosnian state court to stop the case against him because he has already been acquitted of the charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The lawyers argued that Orić cannot stand trial for the same crimes twice.

Judge Liu Daqun said in his decision that Orić was acquitted by the ICTY of command responsibility for the killings of one Serb at the Srebrenica police station and six others in the local municipality building.

However the charges in Bosnia allege he personally killed one Serb in the village of Zalazje and took part in the killings of two other Serbs in Bratunac along with another Bosnian Army fighter.

“I note that in the present case, the murder charges in the Bosnian indictment fundamentally differ from the murder charges in the Hague indictment with respect to the alleged victims and the nature, time and location of the alleged crime,” said the judge.

The Bosnian court recently said that Orić’s trial will open once the MICT reaches its decision.

Naser Orić’s Defence Requests Termination of the Proceedings

Naser OricNaser Orić’s defense lawyers have called on the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals to order the termination of the proceedings against their client. The charges against him were brought before the State Court in Sarajevo

The defense of Naser Orić, who was tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), has asked Theodor Meron, the president of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, to appoint a panel of judges which would order the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) State Court to terminate the proceedings against the former BH Army commander in Srebrenica.

In the motion, the defence has invoked Article 7 of the Mechanism’s Statute, which stipulates that ‘no person shall be tried before a national court for acts constituting serious violations of international humanitarian law under the present Statute for which he or she has already been tried by the ICTY, the ICTR, or the Mechanism’. Orić’s defense has also invoked the Rules of Procedure which stipulate that if the president of the Mechanism receives reliable information that proceedings have been instituted before a national court against a person who has already been tried before one of the international tribunals, the president should issue a ‘reasoned order’ to ‘permanently terminate’ the proceedings. Continue reading

ICTY: Judge Agius and Judge Liu Elected President and Vice-President

Judge Agius

Judge Carmel Agius

Judge Carmel Agius (Malta) and Judge Liu Daqun (China) were elected by acclamation as President and Vice-President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia by the permanent judges in an Extraordinary Plenary Session yesterday, 21 October 2015. Judge Agius and Judge Liu will succeed President Meron and Vice-President Agius and will serve for a two year term starting November 17, 2015.

Judge Carmel Agius is currently the Tribunal’s Vice-President and has served in this role since 2011. He is also an Appeals Chamber judge of both the Tribunal and the ICTR. He was first elected to the Tribunal in 2001 and re-elected in 2004. Between 2003 and 2010, he was Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II of the Tribunal during which time he presided over the Brđanin, the Orić and the multi-accused Popović trials. He was also engaged in the initial appearance and pre-trial preparation and disposal of several other cases.

Since 2010, he has been dealing with appeals from both the Tribunal and the ICTR. Presently, he is presiding over multiple appeal matters. Since 2003 he has chaired the Rules Committee of the Tribunal and has served as a member of the Tribunal’s Bureau. In 2010 and 2011, on behalf of the Tribunal he has coordinated and brought to a conclusion the drafting of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals which were submitted to and accepted by the UN Security Council, and later adopted by the judges of the Mechanism. In 2011 he was elected a Judge of the Mechanism. Continue reading

ADC-ICTY Annual Conference 2015

ADC-ICTY-300x300The Association of Defence Counsel Practising before the ICTY and Representing Counsel before the MICT (ADC-ICTY) is pleased to announce its annual conference for 2015, on “The Situation of Defence Counsel at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals”.

Date: 5 December 2015

Time: 09:00 to 17:30

Location: Bel Air Hotel, Johan de Wittlaan 30, 2517 JR The Hague

This one-day conference will focus on the situation of Defence Counsel at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals and will feature four distinguished panels on various topics in relation to the role and importance of the Defence.

The Opening and Closing Remarks will be delivered by ADC-ICTY President, Colleen M. Rohan, and panellists include renowned Defence Counsel, Judges and representatives from various international criminal courts and tribunals.

Panel I: The Role of Defence Counsel at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals

Panel II: The Necessity of a Defence Office from the International and National Perspective

Panel III: The Importance of a Bar Association for International Criminal Courts and Tribunals

Panel IV: The Future of Defence Counsel on the International and National Level

Confirmed speakers:

Jens Dieckmann, Christopher Gosnell, Gregor Guy-Smith, Dragan Ivetić, Michael Karnavas, Xavier-Jean Keïta, Nina Kisić, Novak Lukić, Judge Howard Morrison, Judge Janet Nosworthy, Judge Alphons Orie, Fiana Reinhardt, Colleen Rohan, Héleyn Unac, Slobodan Zečević

Participation Fee: 35 Euros (including coffee breaks) for the general public,

20 Euros for ADC-ICTY members, students and unpaid interns.

Lunch is 15 Euros per person upon reservation.

Certificates for continuing legal education are available upon request.

For further information and to register please contact the ADC-ICTY Head Office at adcicty.events@gmail.com

Kosovo Votes for New War Crimes Court

Yesterday, Kosovo’s parliament voted in favour of changing the constitution, allowing for the creation of an ad hoc war crimes court, to try ethnic Albanian former guerillas for alleged war crimes committed during and shortly after the war with Serbia in 1999.

Kosovo Liberation Army fighters ©AP

Kosovo Liberation Army fighters ©AP

The 120-seat legislature voted 82-5 in favor of the change, with several abstentions.

During the war, Kosovo Albanian rebels fought to make Kosovo independent from Serbia. In 2010, a special investigation team concluded that there was hard evidence of kidnapping, torture and murder by the rebels.

The report accused some members of the ethnic Albanian insurgency, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), of abductions, beatings, summary executions, and in some cases, the forced removal of human organs on Albanian territory during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. The report named some individuals currently in the Kosovo government, including Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.

At the time of the conclusions of the investigation, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), established in 1993 to try all war crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, did not take on any more new cases.

On Friday, Kosovo’s government had asked parliament to reconsider its rejection of an ad hoc court, after parliament had voted against creating the court on 26 June. Many Kosovo Albanians see the war crimes court as an attempt to tarnish their 1998-99 guerrilla war against Serbia’s repressive rule.

The new court will most likely be located in The Hague, although the Dutch government is still waiting for an official request from Kosovo.

Yugoslavia Tribunal: Legacy of War

By Eduardo Reyes*

ICTYThe end is near for the groundbreaking international tribunal established to try alleged crimes committed in the conflicts of the former Yugoslavia. Eduardo Reyes travelled to The Hague to assess its achievements.

There was a time in the mid-1990s when it seemed the main legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) would be the fact that it had been constituted and issued indictments.

The first court of its kind since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, it faced an enormous obstacle that those predecessor tribunals did not. In many cases, its indictees remained politically powerful, well connected and at large.

Where the areas in which the indictees lived had been pacified, such was the fragile nature of peace it was widely believed their apprehension risked restarting a conflict that had left more than 100,000 dead in Bosnia and Herzegovina alone. Continue reading