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The International Criminal Law blog

Confirmation Hearings at the ICC - Paper Exercise or Substantial Contest?

1 August 2011 by Administrator

An interesting Decision has been issued in the Ruto et al half of the Kenya case at the ICC. The Pre-Trial Chamber has restricted viva voce defence witnesses for the Confirmation Hearing to only two for each suspect.

The Prosecution has elected not to call any live witnesses for the Confirmation Hearing at all, and will be relying solely upon reports, media clips, summaries of witness statements and some fully written and signed witness statements, but will not be exposing any of his witness and materials to the crucible of live evidence or cross-examination. It will be a paper exercise for his case. The PTC does not seem to be concerned with that quality of evidence.

The Single Judge of PTC III has emphasised the limited scope and purpose of the Confirmation Hearing and the fact that it is not the full trial. Also of importance to her was the right for an expeditious trial of the defence. But how does two witnesses per suspect cover all issues raised against them?

How is a paper case a proper means to come to a decision that there are “substantial grounds to believe a suspect has committed an offence”? This is the test at the Confirmation Hearing stage to determine whether a case goes forward to trial or not.

Surely if the defence want to call more evidence to combat and challenge hearsay and supposition, why can’t they? It must be for them to decide which of their rights they wish to exercise and if it delays proceedings a while to properly decide the substantial grounds issue, that is a trumping right at that stage.

Or is it all just a paper exercise?

Decision Reducing VV witnesses CH

Posted in International
Tagged Kenya







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