Voluntary guilty plea

Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 19.10.2000 KAMBANDA Jean
(ICTR 97-23-A)

61. The Appeals Chamber holds that the conditions for accepting a plea agreement are firstly that the person pleading guilty must understand the consequence of his or her actions, and secondly that no pressure must have been brought to bear upon that person to sign the plea agreement. This position is reflected in the separate opinion of Judges McDonald and Vohrah in Erdemović, which stated that a voluntary plea requires two elements, namely that “an accused person must have been mentally competent to understand the consequences of his actions when pleading guilty” and “the plea must not have been the result of any threat or inducement other than the expectation of receiving credit for a guilty plea by way of some reduction of sentences.”[1]

[1] “Judgement, Joint Separate Opinion of Judge McDonald and Judge Vohrah”, Erdemović, para. 10.

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