Questions from the bench

Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 26.05.2003 RUTAGANDA George

62. [...] There is no provision in the Rules that prohibits Judges from asking questions in order to contribute to discovering the truth or to try to corroborate or contradict the facts in issue. [...]


63. [...] As has already been recalled, the Rules allow Judges to ask questions, and Judges have a wide discretion to contribute to the discovery of the truth, including the power to confront one witness with the testimony of another. [...]


111. […] The Appeals Chamber recalls that it is up to the Judges to ask any questions that they deem necessary for the clarification of testimonies and for the discovery of the truth. […]


118. […] the Appeals Chamber considers that the questions fall entirely within the ambit of the Judge’s duty to contribute to the discovery of the truth, which implies, especially at the cross-examination phase, the possibility of testing witness credibility. […]

[1] Defence Appeal Brief, para.523. See also Prosecution’s Response Brief, para. 10.38.

[2] T, 7 October 1997, pp. 34 to 36.

[3] Defence Appeal Brief, paras. 531 and 532. See also Prosecution’s Response Brief, para. 10.47.

[4] T, 6 October 1997, pp. 115 to 117.

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 23.01.2014 ŠAINOVIĆ et al.

142. Regarding the questioning of Mijatović, the Appeals Chamber recalls that under Rules 85(B) and 90(F) of the Rules, it is within a trial chamber’s discretion to intervene where an issue requires clarification. A trial chamber may do so either by communicating with counsel or by directly clarifying the issue with the witness. As the Trial Chamber correctly observed, as long as its questions did not pursue an independent enquiry into the evidence of the witness, they were properly apportioned to the time of the examining party.[1]

[1] Decision of 16 April 2008 [Prosecutor v. Milan Milutinović et al., Case No. IT-05-87-T, Decision on Lukić Defence Objection to February 2008 Report on Use of Time, 16 April 2008], para. 13.

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