Case No. IT-03-67-PT

IN TRIAL CHAMBER II

Before:
Judge Carmel A. Agius, Presiding
Judge Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba
Judge Jean-Claude Antonetti

Registrar:
Mr. Hans Holthuis

Order of:
27 October 2003

PROSECUTOR

v.

VOJISLAV SESELJ

___________________________

DECISION ON MOTION NUMBER 21

___________________________

The Office of the Prosecutor:

Ms. Hildegaard Uertz-Retzlaff
Mr. Daniel Saxon

The Accused:

Vojislav Seselj

Standby counsel:

Aleksandar Lazarevic

 

THIS TRIAL 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 ("Tribunal"),

BEING SEIZED of a Motion1 filed by the Accused on 21 October 2003,

NOTING that the Accused in his Motion requests, inter alia, that Maja Gojkovic and Slavko Jerkovic, two lawyers whom the Accused identifies as his legal adviser and legal assistant2, respectively, be permitted to attend all pre-trial and procedural hearings in his case,

NOTING the Prosecutionís Response to Vojislav Seseljís "Motion Number 21", filed by the Office of the Prosecutor on 23 October 2003, opposing the Accusedís request on the grounds that neither Maja Gojkovic nor Slavko Jerkovic have been appointed as counsel for the Accused pursuant to Rule 44 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal ("Rules"),

NOTING this Chamberís "Decision on Prosecutionís Motion for Order Appointing Counsel to Assist Vojislav Seselj with his Defence", dated 9 May 2003 assigning standby counsel to the Accused in this case,

NOTING, in particular, paragraph 29 thereof which states:

The right to self-representation and the appointment of standby counsel do not exclude the right of the Accused to obtain legal advice from counsel of his own choosing. The human rights referred to earlier in this Decision are by their nature only minimum rights. It would be a misunderstanding of the word "or" in the phrase "to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing" to conclude that self-representation excludes the appointment of counsel to assist the Accused or vice versa. The Accused may file a power of attorney under Rule 44(A) if he wishes to have additional assistance from counsel meeting the necessary requirements under that Rule. Such counsel would enjoy counsel-client privilege while being bound by all the obligations of counsel working with the Tribunal.

CONSIDERING, therefore, that any "additional" legal assistance sought by the Accused must be provided by "counsel meeting the necessary requirements under [Rule 44]", that is, counsel who is "admitted to the practice of law in a State, or is a University professor of law, speaks one of the two working languages of the Tribunal, and is a member of an association of counsel practising at the Tribunal recognised by the Registrar",

CONSIDERING that, to date, the Accused has not formally sought to engage either Maja Gojkovic or Slavko Jerkovic as "counsel" pursuant to Rule 44 of the Rules,3

NOTING that the remaining issues contained in the Motion do not fall within the purview of the Chamber,

HEREBY FINDS that until such time as the Accused officially engages counsel pursuant to Rule 44 of the Rules, said counsel may not appear in any pre-trial or procedural hearings in this case, and

INVITES the Accused, if he seeks the assistance and presence of counsel of his own choosing during pre-trial and procedural hearings, to officially engage such counsel by following the procedure laid down in Rule 44 of the Rules.

 

Done in English and French, the English version being authoritative.

_________
Judge Carmel Agius
Presiding

Dated this twenty-seventh day of October 2003
At The Hague
The Netherlands

[Seal of the Tribunal]


1. Motion no. 21, dated 20 October 2003.
2. The Accused filed a power of attorney for Maja Gojkovic to act as his legal adviser on 3 July 2003. An additional power of attorney was filed by the Accused that same day, authorising Slavko Jerkovic to act as his legal assistant.
3. See exchange between then Presiding Judge Schomburg and the Accused in the transcript of status conference of 3 July 2003, T. 88 Ė 92.