- Assisting an accused to represent himself: appointment of 'amici curiae' as the most appropriate option
- Journal of International Criminal Justice
- Volume | Issue number
- 4 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL)
Given the proportion and complexity of international criminal proceedings, allowing an accused to represent himself before an international criminal court might render his defence ineffective, even if the accused is a lawyer himself. If international criminal courts are not willing to have the accused bear the consequences of his choice of self-representation, the measure of appointing experienced Defence Counsel as amici curiae to make legal contributions to add to the Judges’ informed decisions seems to entail fewer undesirable ethical consequences for counsel than being added as ‘standby counsel’ or ‘court assigned counsel’. Through occupying a neutral position and not being required to represent the accused, the amici's input may balance the flow of defence and prosecution arguments and thus contribute to the fairness of international criminal trials. The measure of appointing standby counsel or court assigned counsel to an accused who wishes to represent himself appears less appropriate, especially from a legal professional perspective.
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