Pre-trial stage

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Assignment of Counsel - 20.10.2006 ŠEŠELJ Vojislav

The Trial Chamber, in the Impugned Decision[1], held that to restrict the right to self-representation during the pre-trial stage, the accused’s behaviour should provide, when considered as a whole,

 a strong indication that self-representation may substantially and persistently obstruct the proper and expeditious conduct of the proceedings.[2]

The Appeals Chamber agreed with the aforementioned approach adopted by the Trial Chamber, save for use of the word “may”, and held that the word “would” is more appropriate

as a Trial Chamber should have a high degree of certainty before exceptionally placing a restriction on the right to self-representation pre-emptively at the pre-trial stage before an accused has had the opportunity to conduct his own defence at trial.[3]

[1] Prosecutor v. Vojislav Šešelj, Case No. IT-06-67-PT, Decision on Assignment of Counsel (“Impugned Decision”), 21 August 2006, para. 14

[2] Impugned Decision, paras 74 and 79.

[3] Decision, para. 28.

Download full document