Self-Representation in International Criminal Procedure
When Slobodan Milosevic declared that he would refuse counsel and conduct his own defence, it was the first time that an international tribunal had to navigate this procedural question. Although language which may have permitted self-representation was included in the Nuremberg and Tokyo procedural documents, an examination of contemporaneous records show that no formal attempts were made to rely on those provisions.
This book examines the sources of law on self-representation and evaluates them as a basis for a consolidated approach in international criminal procedure. This book examines the very beginning of the debate: how have domestic legal systems traditionally treated defendants who wish to waive counsel? What was the background to the defence provisions underpinning the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials? How is the issue treated in international human rights law? What do the negotiations of relevant rules and treaties reveal about the intentions of the drafters? The answers to these questions, as the book shows, paint a complex picture. Strongly diverging approaches and persuasive dissenting opinions obfuscate a clear path.
The procedural mechanisms utilised by the ICTY in an attempt to achieve clarity are innovative, but have not been entirely effective. Defendants have obstructed proceedings, causing delay and wasted expenses. Questions remain as to the correct interpretation of the law and how to control such trials, and whether future tribunals may legitimately take a more conservative approach when faced with a defendant wishing to conduct his own defence.