A draft Constitution for the Bar of List Counsel: Let the discussions begin!

As promised, a few days ago I circulated the draft constitution I have been working on for the past month. (Links to Draft English / French)  There was no real need to re-invent the wheel and start from scratch.  I took as a base the ADC-ICTY Constitution.  While not perfect and certainly limited to the ICTY matrix, it has been tried and tested.  Based on my experience both as a member and having served on numerous ADC-ICTY committees, including three years on the Executive Committee, two of which as President, I believe this document provides a solid point of departure.  Last year I forwarded it to the Coordinators of the ALC-ICC, recommending its utility.   Continue reading “A draft Constitution for the Bar of List Counsel: Let the discussions begin!”

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A constitutional framework for a professional Bar of List Counsel at the ICC

After a year of mulling the various options available for List Counsel in organizing themselves to collectively meet the challenges they face at the ICC, the best option that emerged was the formation of a truly professional Bar.  While an association – as in a trade union – would be simpler and quicker to form, when considering the permanence and intended undertaking of the ICC, only a genuine professional Bar would be capable of having the desired enduring influence. Such a Bar will require ICC recognition: a tall and time-consuming order.  List Counsel must nonetheless soldier on in constituting a Bar.  The starting point is the drafting of a constitution, a collaborative process that is well under way, overseen by the coordinators of the Executive Committee formed last year by the List Counsel interested in establishing an ICC Bar for List Counsel.  Once the Constitution is adopted, the Bar can be registered and commence functioning. So, what of this Bar and how should it be constituted?

Continue reading “A constitutional framework for a professional Bar of List Counsel at the ICC”

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Why Establish a Bar of List Counsel of the International Criminal Court?

Can justice be achieved at the ICC without due process of law?  Can due process of law be achieved at the ICC without List Counsel?  Can List Counsel meaningfully fulfil their duties and obligations to their clients if there is inequality of arms or asymmetry between them and the Prosecution?  Can the internationally recognized standards and human rights principles be seriously advocated by List Counsel if they are without a collective voice that champions their needs so they can, in turn, champion the needs of their clients?

No reason to tax the mind pondering these questions.  Article 67 of the ICC Statute, and Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require the Registrar to promote a robust defence for all accused based on internationally recognized fair trial rights.  Correspondingly, Article 68 of the ICC Statute and Rules 90, 91, 92 and 93 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence provides for robust victim participation in court proceedings in person or through their legal representatives. Continue reading “Why Establish a Bar of List Counsel of the International Criminal Court?”

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A Bar for List Counsel is within reach – finally!

Last year during the Tenth Seminar of Counsel of the ICC & Training Program held in The Hague on 17, 18 and 19 October 2012, the List Counsel who attended overwhelmingly voted to establish an association or Bar exclusively for List Counsel.  The International Bar Association (“ICB”), which has been keen over the years to be the Bar for List Counsel, made a bid and lost.   The ICC in the past had made it clear that it would not recognize the ICB as the Bar representing List Counsel.  The ICB is effectively a Bar without boarders.  Its strength seems to also be its weakness – at least so it appears to the Registrar of the ICC.  In any event, the ICB will continue to be a major factor in assisting List Counsel, even if operating from outside the ICC. 

After a few hastily organized meetings during last year’s seminar, a group of 15 or so members of List Counsel were selected to serve as an Executive Committee (“EC”).  Two members, Wang You Sando and Raymond M. Brown were selected as coordinators.  Over the past year, Sando and Raymond have been overseeing the drafting of a statute for an association.   Those on the EC have had an opportunity to comment on the draft.  It was hoped that the draft would be finalized and ready to be circulated to List Counsel and to the Registrar during this year’s Seminar of Counsel.  But, even before the seminar, a debate had begun as to what sort of entity List Counsel should form: An association, similar to the ADC-ICTY, or a Bar as in the French Civil Law system. Continue reading “A Bar for List Counsel is within reach – finally!”

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Attending the Eleventh ICC Seminar of Counsel – another letdown!

The ICC held its annual seminar for List Counsel on October 21 and 22, 2013 in The Hague.  Three days of training followed.  This was the eleventh time the ICC hosted this event.

As in the past, the seminar was mostly an update, and for the most part not terribly rewarding.  It was heartening to hear from the new Registrar, Herman von Hebel, that changes are afoot in the Registry.  He brings lots of practical knowledge and experience.  There is already a feeling that he will be more understanding to the needs of List Counsel.  From my brief conversation with him (I have known him since 2001), he seemed genuinely interested in working constructively with List Counsel. Continue reading “Attending the Eleventh ICC Seminar of Counsel – another letdown!”

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WSJ Features Michael Karnavas on Future of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

28 Oct 13 — The Wall Street Journal’s on-line edition of Southeast Asia – Real Time featured Michael Karnavas in a Q&A on the Future of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Michael Karnavas, an American defense lawyer, has spent more than a third of his 30-year career in international criminal justice, representing defendants in war crimes tribunals at The Hague and in Cambodia.    Click here to read the rest of the article.

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