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International Criminal Justice Standards - International Criminal Tribunal For Former Yugoslavia And Rwanda

evidence trial rules procedure

On 25 May 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 827 (1993) in which it approved the establishment of "an international tribunal for the sole purpose of prosecuting persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia" after 1 January 1991. Article 15 of the Statute of the International Tribunal authorizes the judges to "adopt rules of procedure and evidence for the conduct of the pre-trial phase of the proceedings, trials and appeals, the admission of evidence, the protection of victims, and witnesses and other matters." Article 20 of the statute provides that the Trial Chambers of the International Tribunal "shall ensure that a trial is fair and expeditious and that proceedings are conducted in accordance with the rules of procedure and evidence, with full respect for the rights of the accused and due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses." Articles 20 through 26 contain more specific provisions relating to the right to a fair trial, judgment, and appeal. In particular, most of the fair trial provisions in Article 14 of the Civil and Political Covenant are reflected in Article 21 of the statute, although the Covenant is not mentioned as such.

Additional articles contain safeguards designed to ensure the impartiality of the tribunal (rules 14–36), ensure the suspect's right to free counsel and the assistance of an interpreter (42), provide for the video-or audio-taping of all suspect questioning (43), contain procedural safeguards for all indictments and arrest warrants (47–61), require that all accused be brought promptly before the tribunal (62), do not allow the suspect to be questioned without counsel present (63), require the prosecution to disclose all exculpatory evidence to the accused (68), allow the judges to close the proceedings to the public in certain circumstances (79), and provide for appeal (107–22) and pardon (123–125) procedures. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence for the Yugoslav Tribunal devote more attention to the rights of victims and witnesses than previous international criminal standards.

On 8 November 1994, the U.N. Security Council adopted resolution 955 (1994) in which it approved the establishment of an "International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens Responsible for Genocide and Other Such Violations Committed in the Territory of Neighboring States," between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994. The Rwanda Tribunal has been established in Arusha, Tanzania, but shares the same prosecutor, appellate court, and basic rules of procedure as the Yugoslav Tribunal.

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