Right to challenge the lawfulness of detention

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision - 01.06.2000 SEMANZA Laurent

112. Neither the Statute nor the Rules of the Tribunal specifically address writs of habeas corpus. However, the Appeals Chamber has already pointed out that the possibility for a detained individual to have recourse to an independent judicial authority for review of the lawfulness of his detention is "well established by the Statute and Rules".[1] This is a fundamental right and is enshrined in international human rights law,[2] which also provides that the right of an individual to challenge the lawfulness of his detention implies that "a writ of habeas corpus must be heard".[3]

113. The Appeals Chamber wishes to confirm the principle which it laid down in the Barayagwiza case: if an accused files a writ of habeas corpus, the Tribunal must hear it and rule upon it without delay, as principal instruments of international human rights law prescribe.[4] If such a writ is filed but not heard, the Chamber will find that a fundamental right of the accused has been violated.

[1] Case No. ICTR-97-19-AR72, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza v. The Prosecutor, "Decision", Appeals Chamber, 3 November 1999, para. 88.

[2] Ibid., paras. 88-89. See in particular Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 9 (4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Article 5 (4) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and Article 7 (6) of the American Convention on Human Rights.

[3] Ibid., para. 89.

[4] Ibid., para. 88.

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision - 03.11.1999 BARAYAGWIZA Jean-Bosco

See paragraphs 88-89 of the decision.

See also paragraph 90 of the decision.

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