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This book examines whether international criminal courts enable defence counsels to conduct effective defences. When the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda were set up in the mid-nineties to prosecute those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law, little thought had been given as to how to organise the defence. Simply assigning one counsel per accused was deemed sufficient.
However, it soon turned out that more assistance was necessary to guarantee a fair trial to the accused. The statutes of international criminal courts are concise about the right to legal assistance and the role of the defence in its proceedings. This book examines the position of the defence at international criminal courts given the sui generis character of international criminal proceedings and analyses important issues concerning the defence, such as legal aid, equality of arms, professional ethics and disciplinary law and the right to self-representation.