International Criminal Procedure

International Criminal Procedure

The Interface of Civil Law and Common Law Legal Systems

Edited by Linda Carter and Fausto Pocar

The emergence of international criminal courts, beginning with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and including the International Criminal Court, has also brought an evolving international criminal procedure. In this book, the authors examine selected issues that reflect a blending of, or choice between, civil law and common law models of procedure. The topics include background on civil law and common law legal systems; plea bargaining; witness proofing; written and oral evidence; self-representation and the use of assigned, standby, and amicus counsel; the role of victims; and the right to appeal.

Chapter 5: Self- representation and the use of assigned, standby and amicus counsel

Charles Chernor Jalloh

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, public international law, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


On July 3, 2001, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milo_evi_, who was on trial for his alleged role in perpetrating international crimes in the Balkans, informed the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that he did not want a lawyer to represent him during future proceedings. The Trial Chamber allowed Milo_evi_ to continue in this manner, but also appointed amicus curiae to assist the Court. As Milo_evi_’s health began to diminish, the ICTY faced difficult questions about if and when to assign counsel to represent the accused, and in so doing, restricting Milo_evi_’s right to defend himself. The ICTY’s handling of these problems, as well as Milo_evi_’s subsequent death before the completion of his trial, thrust unresolved questions of international criminal procedure into the spotlight. Since then, many defendants before the ICTY and other international criminal courts have tried to follow Milo_evi_’s lead and represent themselves. Others, failing to gain permission to continue without legal counsel, have attempted to emulate Milo_evi_’s other lead and disrupt the trial proceedings as much as possible. The evolving body of international criminal law has responded to these challenges by developing procedures to deal with defendants who either want to represent themselves or who create large and continuous disruptions of court proceedings.

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