Non-compliance with delay for filing and extraordinary circumstances

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Assignment of Counsel No 2 - 08.12.2006 ŠEŠELJ Vojislav

The Appeals Chamber determined that due to extraordinary circumstances and the grave condition of Šešelj’s health, it would depart from the requirements of the Practice Decision and consider Šešelj’s Appeal on the merits.

13. […] The Appeals Chamber does not find that there is any reason why Šešelj should not be permitted to file the Appeal despite the fact that it does not conform with the Practice Direction on filing of appeals before the Appeals Chamber.[1]  In this instance, Šešelj has sought to appeal by filing a letter before the Appeals Chamber requesting that it take into account all arguments he has made in prior submissions filed before the Appeals Chamber, the President and the Bureau with respect to his right to self-representation and his opposition to standby counsel and counsel as forming the grounds of his appeal.[2]

14.  […] [T]he Appeals Chamber recognises that there are extraordinary circumstances justifying its departure from the requirements of its own Practice Direction.  Šešelj has persisted in his refusal to take food or medicine since 11 November 2006.  He has also since that time refused to be medically assessed by doctors assigned to his care.  The only doctors that have been able to make any assessment of Šešelj’s condition could only make a rudimentary assessment.  However, it is abundantly clear to the Appeals Chamber that the action taken by Šešelj is seriously damaging his health and could have grave consequences.  Šešelj has made a choice to undertake this action, and he has purportedly done so because of his opposition to the decision of the Trial Chamber to impose standby counsel following the Appeal Decision.  That opposition of Šešelj caused the Trial Chamber to take the further step of assigning counsel, but Šešelj’s opposition leading to that decision of the Trial Chamber was based in the first instance on his strong belief that the Appeal Decision, which reinstated his right to self-representation, left no room for the imposition of standby counsel by the Trial Chamber as an immediate response to the Appeal Decision, without establishing any obstructionist behaviour on his part. Upon that basis, and in light of the fact that the Trial Chamber certified its decision to assign counsel for appeal, the Appeals Chamber will consider the Appeal on the merits.

[1] In accordance with Paragraph 9 of the on Procedure for the Filing of Written Submissions in Appeal Proceedings Before the International Tribunal, IT/155/Rev.3, 16 September 2005 (“Practice Direction”) a certified appeal should be filed within seven days of the decision of certification so the time for the filing of an appeal by independent counsel will expire on 12 December 2006. […]

[2] The Appeals Chamber sought clarification from the Commanding Officer of the UNDU as to the scope of Šešelj’s appeal.  It was advised upon instruction from Šešelj that he wished the Appeals Chamber to consider the arguments he made in various filings with respect to the assignment of counsel and standby counsel. […]

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Other instruments Practice Direction on Procedure for the Filing of Written Submissions in Appeal Proceedings Before the International Tribunal (ICTY).