On 18 December 2013, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste initiated proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Commonwealth of Australia alleging that the latter violated diplomatic immunity in entering the former’s embassy without permission. More information on these events can be found here.
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Yesterday, 28 August 2013, the ICTY disqualified judge Harhoff from sitting in the Seselj case based on a letter he wrote that has become widely available on the internet. The decision does not address what will happen to the trial now that there will be fewer than three judges (only two judicial votes are required for conviction) especially considering that the judgment is scheduled to be devlivered in October 2013. The press release can be found here and the decision here.
On 27 May 2013, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court issued a disclosure decision in the Lubanga appeal. Most of the decision is routine. The Prosecutor desired to redact information from documents to be disclosed to the defense, and the defense of course requested the entire document. The important part, and where the Chamber makes an important statement about the nature of disclosure comes at the end of very end. The Chamber held,
In respect of the Prosecutor’s argument that [contact] information is “irrelevant to known issues in the case”, the Appeals Chamber points out that, once it is established that a document is material to the preparation of the defence, pursuant to rule 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the disclosure obligation extends to the entire document and not only to the “relevant” portions of information contained within such a document. The Appeals Chamber considers that the Prosecutor has not demonstrated that the disclosure of this information to Mr Lubanga has a sufficient and objectively justifiable risk of prejudicing her ongoing and further investigations. The reasons mentioned by the Prosecutor may convince the Appeals Chamber to find
that such information should not be accessible to the public, but at issue is whether any ongoing and further investigations of the Prosecutor could be prejudiced by Mr Lubanga having access to such contact information. Accordingly, the Appeals Chamber rejects the request for redactions.
The Chamber rightly concluded that the basic rule is, and should be, that entire documents are disclosed and not just the parts that the proseuction deems relevant.