- Defence counsel in international criminal law
- Award date
- 30 January 2009
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL)
The field of international criminal law is relatively new and rapidly developing. This dissertation examines whether international criminal courts enable defence counsel to conduct an effective defence. When the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (the ad hoc Tribunals) were set up in the mid-nineties to prosecute those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law, not much thought had been given to the organisation of the defence. The Statutes of international criminal courts are concise about the right to legal assistance and the role of the defence in its proceedings. International criminal trials generally involve highly complicated issues of criminal, international and international humanitarian law. Therefore, the assignment of only one counsel is insufficient to guarantee a fair trial to the accused. Currently, two defence counsel, one or two investigators and one or two legal assistants are generally assigned to defence teams at international criminal courts. This dissertation examines the position of the defence at international criminal courts given the sui generis character of international criminal proceedings. It analyzes important defence issues, such as legal aid, equality of arms, professional ethics and disciplinary law and the right to self-representation.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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