Word limit

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Stay of Procedure and Assignment of Counsel - 04.04.2014 PRLIĆ et al.

17. […] The Appeals Chamber acknowledges that neither the Rules nor the relevant Practice Directions require the inclusion of a word count or provide for a time-limit for the filing of Registry submissions pursuant to Rule 33(B) of the Rules. However, the Appeals Chamber has previously imposed time-limits and required the inclusion of a word count in Registry submissions where it found it necessary for the efficient administration of the proceedings and for ensuring equality.[1] Guided by the same considerations, the Appeals Chamber requests the Registry to include a word count in future Rule 33(B) submissions in response to motions filed in the present case and to make such submissions within ten days of the filing of the respective motion.

[1] Prosecutor v. Momčilo Krajišnik, Case No. IT-00-39-A, Decision on Krajišnik Request and on Prosecution Motion, 11 September 2007, paras 23, 25.

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ICTR Rule Rule 33(B) ICTY Rule Rule 33(B)
Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Motions to Strike and Word Limit - 06.11.2009 HARTMANN Florence

23. The Appeals Chamber finds that the Appellant has failed to demonstrate that the factors cited in support of her Motion to Exceed Word Limit constitute exceptional circumstances. She has asserted the complexity of the legal and factual issues on appeal[1] without defining exactly what these complexities are. It is also well established that the number of grounds and sub-grounds of appeal,[2] the number of authorities cited,[3] and the extensiveness of the trial record and length of the trial[4] do not inevitably impede an appellant’s ability to present salient and cogent appeal briefs within the prescribed word limit, and that these factors do not therefore, in and of themselves, constitute exceptional circumstances. Regarding the Appellant’s assertion that an extension of the word limit is also necessitated by the Trial Chamber’s refusal to grant the Appellant’s requests for leave to appeal three of the Trial Chamber’s preliminary decisions, the Appeals Chamber notes that the Appellant has failed to explain precisely why this is the case. The mere fact that the Trial Chamber denied the requests for leave to appeal these three decisions does not invariably prevent the Appellant from concisely discussing the most relevant aspects of these decisions within the prescribed word limit.

24. While a number of the issues on appeal, including an examination of European and international law on freedom of expression, are important issues, the significance of the issues on appeal does not in and of itself prevent an appellant from presenting sound submissions on those issues within the set word limit.[5] The quality and effectiveness of an appellant’s brief are not contingent on the length of the submissions, but on the cogency and clarity of the arguments presented.[6] In the instant case the Appeal is somewhat unnecessarily repetitive.[7] Also, the discussion of certain related issues extending over numerous paragraphs could be consolidated into fewer paragraphs, and more concise phrasing used throughout the Appeal as a whole.[8]  In view of the foregoing therefore, the Appellant’s request for extension of the word limit is, by majority, Judge Morrison dissenting, denied.

[1] In the Case Against Florence Hartmann, Case No. IT-02-54-R77.5-A, Motion Seeking Extension of Word Limit for Appeals Brief, 9 October 2009, para. 9.

[2] Prosecutor v. Enver Hadžihasanović, Amir Kubura, IT-01-47-A, Decision on Defence Motion on Behalf of Enver Hadžihasanović Seeking Leave to Exceed Words [sic] Limit for the Appeal Brief, 22 January 2007, p. 3; Prosecutor v. Naser Orić, Case No. IT-03-68-A, Decision on Defence Motion for Extension of Word Limit for Defence Appellant’s Brief, 6 October 2006, p. 3 (“Orić Decision”).

[3] Prosecutor v. Sefer Halilović, Decision on Motion for Extension of Number of Words for Respondent’s Brief, 14 July 2006, pp. 3-4.

[4] Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brđanin, IT-99-36-A, Decision on Appellant’s Motion for Extension of Time Limit to File a Consolidated Brief and For Enlargement of Page Limit, 22 June 2005, para. 12.

[5] In the Orić Decision, the Appeals Chamber stated at p. 3 that “[…] although this appeal raises important legal and factual issues, the Defence is required to demonstrate exceptional circumstances which distinguish this case and necessitate an extension of the prescribed word limits.”

[6] Id.

[7] Thus, for example, para. 62 of the Appeal Brief in essence repeats para. 57. Similarly, as the Prosecution correctly observes at para. 20 of the Amicus Curiae Prosecutor’s Response, para. 196 of the Appeal Brief repeats verbatim an extract from an interview previously quoted at para. 172.

[8] For example, paras 57, 59, 63 and 64 are somewhat repetitive in substance and the phrasing used could be more concise.

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Other instruments Practice Direction on the Length of Briefs and Motions (ICTY).
Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Page Limits - 26.07.2002 KRNOJELAC Milorad

CONSIDERING that the quality and effectiveness of appeal briefs does not depend on their length but on the clarity and cogency of the presented arguments and that, therefore, excessively long briefs do not necessarily serve the cause of an efficient administration of justice; 

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Order Granting Page Extension - 02.05.2003 KVOČKA et al.
(IT -98-30/1-A)

CONSIDERING that the appropriate length of a response is primarily dictated by the nature and scope of the issues which it needs to address and not necessarily by the size of the material submitted by the applicant;

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Time and Page Extensions for Response - 21.02.2005 GALIĆ Stanislav

FINDING that no explanation has been provided which would justify an extension of time or page limits to the Appellant for the filing of his reply, and that a request by a party for extension of time does not automatically amount to a showing of good cause by the opposing party;

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on a Motion for an Extension of a Word Limit - 08.09.2016 KARADŽIĆ Radovan

Pages 2-3:

RECALLING that, pursuant to paragraphs 6(a) and 7 of the Practice Direction on Lengths of Briefs and Motions, an appellant’s and a respondent’s briefs in an appeal from a trial judgment should not exceed 30,000 words where the appeal is not restricted to sentencing issues;[1]

RECALLING that, pursuant to paragraph 17 of the Practice Direction, a party must seek advance authorization to exceed the word limits set out in the Practice Direction, and must provide an explanation of the exceptional circumstances that necessitate the oversized filing;

RECALLING FURTHER that, pursuant to the same paragraph of the Practice Direction, a judge may dispose of a motion for an extension of a word limit without hearing the other party unless it is considered that there is a risk that the other party may be prejudiced;

EMPHASIZING that the quality and effectiveness of an appeal brief do not depend on its length, but on the clarity and cogency of the arguments presented and that, therefore, excessively long briefs do not necessarily facilitate the efficient administration of justice;[2]

[1] Practice Direction on Lengths of Briefs and Motions, MICT/11, 6 August 2013 (“Practice Direction”).

[2] Prosecutor v. Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, Case No. IT-03-69-A, Decision on Stanišić’s Urgent Request for Extension of Word Limit, 31 October 2013 (“Stanišić and Simatović Decision of 31 October 2013”), p. 2; Georges A.N. Rutaganda v The Prosecutor, Case No. IT-96-03-R68, Decision on Motion for Leave to Exceed the Word Limit, 23 February 2010, p. 2.

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Other instruments Paragraphs 6(a), 7, and 17 of the Practice Direction on Lengths of Briefs and Motions