Imposition of counsel

Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 28.11.2007 NAHIMANA et al. (Media case)

127. The Appeals Chamber would begin by noting that Rule 45 quater of the Rules expressly states that a “Trial Chamber may, if it decides that it is in the interests of justice, instruct the Registrar to assign a counsel to represent the interests of the accused”. However, this rule was introduced by an amendment of 6 July 2002 and was therefore not applicable to the situation of Appellant Barayagwiza before this date. Nevertheless, the Appeals Chamber finds that Article 19(1) of the Statute already at that time allowed a Trial Chamber to instruct the Registry to assign a counsel to represent the interests of the accused, even against his will, when the accused had waived his right to be present and participate at the hearings. […]In the instant case, it was open to the Trial Chamber to fulfil this obligation by requesting the Registrar to assign counsel to represent the interests of Appellant Barayagwiza.[1] The Appeals Chamber can find no error or abuse of power on the part of the Trial Chamber.  

[1] This is, moreover, the solution subsequently adopted with the introduction of Rule 82 bis of the Rules. 

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Revocation of Referral - 04.10.2016 UWINKINDI Jean

36.     In considering Uwinkindi’s complaint of an alleged breach of his right to choose his counsel, the Trial Chamber recalled that the Appeals Chambers of the ad hoc Tribunals have consistently recognised that individuals lacking the means to remunerate counsel do not have an absolute right to a counsel of their own choosing.[1] […] Consistent with international human rights law and the case law of the ad hoc Tribunals, this right is necessarily subject to certain limitations where, as in the present case, free legal aid is relied upon and the interests of justice require the accused to be defended by counsel assigned to him despite his wishes.[2]

37.     […] The Appeals Chamber considers that avoiding interruptions or adjournments corresponds to an interest of justice which may well justify the appointment of counsel against the accused’s wishes.[3] […]

See also paragraph 38.

[1] See Impugned Decision [Prosecutor v. Jean Uwinkindi, Case No. MICT-12-25-R14.1, Decision on Uwinkindi’s Request for Revocation, 22 October 2015], para. 24 and references cited therein.

[2] See Léonidas Nshogoza v. The Prosecutor, Case No. ICTR-2007-91-A, Judgement, 15 March 2010, para. 35; Prosecutor v. Vidoje Blagojević and Dragan Jokić, Case No. IT-02-60-A, Judgement, 9 May 2007, paras. 14, 17. See The Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-A, Judgement, 23 November 2001 (signed on 1 June 2001), para. 61; Jean Kambanda v. The Prosecutor, Case No. ICTR-97-23-A, Judgement, 19 October 2000, para. 33. See also Dvorski v. Croatia [2015] ECHR 927, paras. 78, 79.

[3] Croissant v. Germany [1992] ECHR 60, para. 28. 

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