Regulation of Defence Counsel: An Evolution Towards Restriction and Legitimacy

Nancy Amoury Combs

in The Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199573417
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728822 | DOI:
Regulation of Defence Counsel: An Evolution Towards Restriction and Legitimacy

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This chapter details the evolution of the ICTY's rules governing the initiation and termination of defence representation, and links that evolution to the maturing of international criminal law as a whole. Early ICTY defendants were given broad discretion to select the defence counsel of their choice, to fire the defence counsel they had previously selected, and to refuse the assistance of defence counsel entirely. Current defendants retain much of that discretion, but in recent years, the ICTY has adopted rules restricting defendants' choices to some degree. They did so both to improve the quality of legal representation and the efficiency of trials, but the virtually limitless choice offered to early defendants in their dealings with defence counsel also stemmed from the need of a novel and immature criminal justice system to gain legitimacy. As the ICTY has matured and gained legitimacy, it has proven more willing to regulate the lawyer–client relationship. This willingness reflects a coming-of-age both of the ICTY and international criminal trials more generally.

Keywords: defense counsel; self-representation; conflict-of-interest; ICTY; legitimacy; qualifications; Code of Conduct

Chapter.  14165 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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