Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen, Presiding
Judge Lal Chand Vohrah
Judge Rafael Nieto-Navia
Judge Patricia Wald
Judge Fausto Pocar

Mrs. Dorothee de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh

Decision of:
15 September 2000







The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Upawansa Yapa

Counsel for Goran Jelisic:

Mr. Jovan Babic
Mr. Michael Greaves


THE Appeals Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 ("the International Tribunal"),

BEING SEISED OF a "Request for extension of time to file the accused brief in reply to the Prosecutor’s brief", filed by Goran Jelisic ("the Appellant") on 11 September 2000, seeking an order under Rule 127(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence ("the Rules") allowing an extension of time for the filing of his Reply by 90 days from the date he receives translations into Serbian of "Prosecution’s Appeal Brief" filed 19 July 2000, "Reply to Prosecution Appeal Brief" filed 14 August 2000, "Prosecution’s Brief in Reply", filed 29 August 2000, "Appellant’s Brief on Appeal against Sentence" filed 7 August 2000, and "Respondent’s Brief of the Prosecution (Confidential)" filed 6 September 2000 ("the Documents" and "the Request" respectively);

NOTING Trial Chamber I’s oral Judgement against Goran Jelisic, pronounced on 19 October 1999;

NOTING the "Prosecution’s Notice of Appeal", filed on 21 October 1999;

NOTING the "Notice of Cross-Appeal", filed by the Appellant on 26 October 1999;

NOTING Trial Chamber I’s written Judgement against Goran Jelisic, issued on 14 December 1999;

NOTING the "Notice of Appeal", filed by the Appellant on 15 December 1999, "against the sentence and Judgement pronounced on the 14th day of December 1999";

NOTING the Appeals Chamber’s "Scheduling Order" of 7 March 2000, in which the Chamber ordered that the Appellants’ Briefs under Rule 111 be filed no later than 15 May 2000;

NOTING the Appeals Chamber’s subsequent "Order for Extension of Time" filed 11 May 2000, in which the Chamber ordered that the Appellants’ Briefs under Rule 111 be filed no later than 10 July 2000;

NOTING the Appeals Chamber’s "Order for Provisional Extension of Time and Response by the Prosecutor", issued on 10 July 2000;

NOTING the "Prosecution’s Appeal Brief (Public Redacted Version)", filed on 14 July 2000;

NOTING the "Order for Provisional Extension of Time", issued on 17 July 2000;

NOTING the "Decision on Urgent Motion Requesting Extension of Time", issued on 19 July 2000, in which the Appeals Chamber decided that the Defence’s Brief in Reply may be filed by 21 September 2000 ("the Order of 19 July 2000");

NOTING the "Prosecution Response to the Defence’s Request for Extension of Time to File the Accused Brief in Reply to the Prosecutor’s Brief" filed on 14 September 2000, in which the Prosecution opposes the Appellant’s Request;

NOTING that, pursuant to Rule 127(B) of the Rules, the Appeals Chamber may enlarge any time prescribed by or under the Rules, on good cause being shown by motion;

NOTING Rule 113 of the Rules which provides that a brief in reply may be filed 15 days after the filing of the Respondent’s brief;

CONSIDERING that the Request advances, inter alia, the following grounds which the Appellant submits constitute good cause for granting an extension of time pursuant to Rule 127(B): i) the Appellant did not receive translations of the Documents into Serbian, which is the language he reads and understands; ii) the Appellant’s limited education; iii) the replacement of Lead Counsel; iv) the Appellant’s legal assistant’s inability to identify passages from the videotapes of trial proceedings; and v) the length of the Appellant’s sentence as pronounced by the Trial Chamber and the potential for a similar sentence on Appeal;

NOTING Article 33 of the Statute of the International Tribunal and Rule 3 of the Rules which provide that the working languages of the International Tribunal shall be English and French;

CONSIDERING that an extension of time was granted by the Appeals Chamber to identify passages from the videotapes of the trial proceedings by the Order of 19 July 2000;

CONSIDERING that Lead Counsel was replaced on 19 July 2000 and on 7 August 2000 filed the "Appellant’s Brief on Appeal against Sentence" and on 14 August 2000 filed the "Reply to Prosecution Appeal Brief" and furthermore, no issue as to translation was raised;

CONSIDERING that Lead Counsel speaks the language of the Appellant and that Co-Counsel is English speaking;

CONSIDERING that the sentence imposed by the Trial Chamber is of no relevance in this context;

CONSIDERING that none of the grounds raised by the Appellant by itself justifies an extension of time but that, in the special circumstances of this particular case, it is appropriate to allow further time to enable Counsel to explain the case to the Appellant;


Done in both English and French, the English text being authoritative.


Mohamed Shahabuddeen

Dated this fifteenth day of September 2000
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

[Seal of the Tribunal]