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United Nations Security Council Resolution 955 (1994) on the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and adoption of the Statute of the Tribunal, 8th November 1994 (UN Doc S/RES/955(1994)), OXIO 124

United Nations Security Council Resolution 955 (1994) on the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and adoption of the Statute of the Tribunal, 8th November 1994 (UN Doc S/RES/955(1994)), OXIO 124

United Nations Security Council [UNSC]; International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [ICTR]

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 26 April 2019

Subject(s):
Armed conflict, non-international — Genocide — ae5ae64f-6d71-1014-90bf-c1927c3ed365

Core Issues

1. Whether the United Nations Security Council had the power to establish an international tribunal under Chapter VII of the United Nation’s Charter

2. How the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was to be defined and what the repercussions of this would be for international humanitarian law and international criminal law.

This headnote pertains to: United Nations Security Council Resolution 955 (1994) on the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and adoption of the Statute of the Tribunal, an act of an international organization. Jump to full text

Background

United Nations Security Council Resolution 955 (1994) (‘Resolution 955’) established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). It was adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations (‘UN Charter’) (1945)—which gives the Security Council (SC) the power to adopt resolutions that are binding on Member States of the United Nations (UN) as a result of the operation of Article 25—and was therefore binding. Resolution 955 constituted the ICTR as an ad hoc international criminal court with limited jurisdiction over certain international crimes that occurred during 1994.

In particular, the conflict in Rwanda escalated after an aircraft carrying President Habyarimana of Rwanda and President Ntaryamira of Burundi crashed in Kigali airport resulting in the death of everyone on board. The night of 6 April 1994, the Rwandan Armed Forces and the ‘Interahamwe’ militia set up roadblocks and started going from house to house killing Tutsis and moderate Hutu politicians. The Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and the ten Belgian peacekeepers assigned to protect her were brutally murdered on 7 April 1994 by Rwandan government soldiers. During the three months of the genocide almost a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by extremist Hutus and the abduction and rape of women was widespread.

The process by which the ICTR was created largely mirrored the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The SC’s initial reaction was to issue a condemnation of the events, followed by the establishment of a Commission of Experts. However, unlike the Statute of the ICTY that was drafted by the Commission of Experts and then adopted by the SC, the ICTR Statute was drafted by members of the SC.

The Commission of Experts initially proposed an amendment of the ICTY’s mandate to extend its jurisdiction (see Preliminary Report of the Commission of Experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 935 (4 October 1994) UN Doc S/1994/1125 Annex, p31). This proposal was rejected because of the misgivings of some SC members who feared that the expansion of an existing ad hoc jurisdiction would lead to a single tribunal that would gradually resemble a permanent judicial institution. However, it was recognised that the coexistence of the two separate tribunals dictated a similar legal approach, certain organizational and institutional links in order to ensure a unity of legal approach, as well as economy of resources (see Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraph 5 of Security Council Resolution 955 (1994) (13 February 1995) UN Doc S/1995/134, p3).

Unlike the resolution for the creation of ICTY that was adopted unanimously by the SC, Resolution 955 was adopted with the dissenting vote of Rwanda in addition to an abstention by China. Rwanda had initially supported creation of the ICTR and had submitted a request concerning its establishment, however, for a number of reasons that include the exclusion of the death penalty and the jurisdiction of the court ratione temporis and ratione materiae, it eventually voted against Resolution 955. The Chinese representative stated that it was ‘an incautious act to vote in a hurry on a draft resolution and statute that the Rwandan [g]overnment still finds difficult to accept’ and that may also have an uncertain impact on ‘relevant efforts in future’ and abstained (see United Nations Security Council Provisional Verbatim Record of the 3453rd Meeting (8 November 1994) UN Doc S/PV.3453).

Summary

In the preambalatory clauses of Resolution 955 there was specific reference to genocide having been committed and the need for the prosecution of crimes as a means to facilitate national reconciliation and the restoration and maintenance of peace. [ref 1] [ref 2] In the first operative clause the limits of the ICTR’s jurisdiction were established ratione temporis, ratione materiae, and ratione loci. [para 1] Reference was also made to Rwanda’s initial request for the establishment of a court, despite the fact that the Rwandan government withdrew its consent and voted against the resolution. [para 1] Operative clause 2 included a general decision to cooperate, as in the case of ICTY, which again aimed to reinforce the commitment already undertaken by Member States of the UN in light of Article 25 of the UN Charter to implement, and in this case, to further facilitate the implementation of Resolution 955. [para 2] The third operative clause aimed to further stress the importance of the involvement of the government of Rwanda, especially concerning the conduct of sentences. [para 3]

Operative clauses 5 and 6 made reference to some practical issues that were to be settled. [paras 5, 6] In particular they provided the guidance for further steps to be taken concerning the issue of the location of the ICTR’s seat which was contentious and was not explicitly dealt with in the operative clauses of Resolution 955.

Analysis

Before the 1990s, the SC’s actions focused on the more conventional tools described or otherwise enabled in the UN Charter, such as diplomatic initiatives and economic and diplomatic sanctions. The first time it used its powers to establish an international criminal tribunal was in the case of Yugoslavia. The SC’s second attempt in tribunal building was its establishment of the ICTR. The SC adopted a Chapter VII of the UN Charter enforcement resolution to establish a subsidiary judicial organ of the SC with a limited temporal jurisdiction, limited territorial jurisdiction, and a somewhat different configuration of crimes to investigate than the first tribunal it established—namely the ICTY. The delegation of Chapter VII powers in the case of the creation of a subsidiary organ can be derived from Articles 7 and 29 of the UN Charter. The only powers that could be delegated were powers already possessed by the SC. The rationale was that the prosecution of those violating international criminal law was related to the peace-maintenance function of the SC. On the one hand, this power could not have been effectively exercised by the SC, since it could not have provided the essential procedural guarantees therefore the creation of a subsidiary organ was within the realm of its options. On the other hand, the long term effects of a tribunal’s decisions combined with its exclusive proclamation on international criminal responsibility raised tensions with the primary police function of the SC for the maintenance of international peace and security. However, states did accept the undertaking of such measures which indicated their perception that the SC was not acting ultra vires.

The conflict in Rwanda was definitely non-international in character, a matter that was a point of contention in the establishment of the ICTY. The non-international character of the conflict in Rwanda meant that the subject matter jurisdiction of the ICTR was more limited in scope compared to the ICTY. For this reason, it included the core international humanitarian law provisions applicable to non-international armed conflicts: the crime of genocide, which can be committed in times of war and peace; and crimes against humanity, whose applicability to armed conflicts of a non-international character had already been recognised in the Statute of the ICTY. This far-reaching criminalization of atrocities committed in an internal armed conflict appeared problematic, since it clearly went beyond the customary law established at the time. The evolution of custom would be of utmost importance to further bind non-state actors that could not be directly bound by treaties and for conducting a criminal trial due to the nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege principle that underpins criminal justice.

Concerning the tribunal’s temporal jurisdiction, the primary issue the SC faced was whether the application of Chapter VII of the UN Charter to crimes that occurred prior to the April 1994 genocide would be justified. In the opinion of the Committee of French Jurists, the competence of the ICTR was not to be extended to crimes predating the dissolution of Yugoslavia—which marked the first time the SC used its powers to establish a tribunal—and the outbreak of the current conflicts in Rwanda. The rationale for this argument was that under Chapter VII the establishment of a tribunal would only be authorised for the purpose of maintaining and restoring peace, and not in order to punish earlier crimes (see United Nations Security Council, Letter dated 10 February 1993 from the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Secretary-General (10 February 1993) UN Doc S/25266, p46). However, the adoption of Resolution 955 occurred five months after the genocidal slaughter had subsided, and was thus not intended as a means of stopping it or of necessarily preventing further bloodshed if violence erupted again due to the temporal limitation included.

Impact

The creation of the ICTR contributed significantly to international criminal law, the development of international humanitarian law, and its extension to non-international armed conflicts. The ICTR was the first ever international tribunal to deliver verdicts in relation to genocide, and the first to interpret the definition of genocide set forth in the 1949 Geneva Conventions (see Prosecutor v Ignace Bagilishema, Trial judgment). It also defined rape in international criminal law and recognised rape as a means of perpetrating genocide (see Prosecutor v Jean-Paul Akayesu, Trial judgment ) and held members of the media accountable for propaganda inflaming genocide (see Prosecutor v Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, Hassan Ngeze, Judgment and sentence).

The creation of the ICTR was also another step towards the creation of a permanent international criminal court. The ICTR began its work in 1995 and delivered its last trial judgement on 20 December 2014. After concluding its remaining work on appeals with the support of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals it reached its formal closure on 31 December 2015.

Further Analysis and Relevant Materials

Reporter(s): Mariela Apostolaki

Source text

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Adopted by the Security Council at its 3453rd meeting, on 8 November 1994

The Security Council,

Reaffirming all its previous resolutions on the situation in Rwanda,

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 3 of resolution 935 (1994) of 1 July 1994 (S/1994/879 and S/1994/906), and having taken note of the reports of the Special Rapporteur for Rwanda of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (S/1994/1157, annex I and annex II),

Expressing appreciation for the work of the Commission of Experts established pursuant to resolution 935 (1994), in particular its preliminary report on violations of international humanitarian law in Rwanda transmitted by the Secretary-General’s letter of 1 October 1994 (S/1994/1125),

Expressing once again its grave concern at the reports indicating that genocide and other systematic, widespread and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law have been committed in Rwanda,

Determining that this situation continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Determined to put an end to such crimes and to take effective measures to bring to justice the persons who are responsible for them,

Convinced that in the particular circumstances of Rwanda, the prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law would enable this aim to be achieved and would contribute to the process of national reconciliation and to the restoration and maintenance of peace,

Believing that the establishment of an international tribunal for the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and the other above-mentioned violations of international humanitarian law will contribute to ensuring that such violations are halted and effectively redressed,

Stressing also the need for international cooperation to strengthen the courts and judicial system of Rwanda, having regard in particular to the necessity for those courts to deal with large numbers of suspects,

Considering that the Commission of Experts established pursuant to resolution 935 (1994) should continue on an urgent basis the collection of information relating to evidence of grave violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and should submit its final report to the Secretary-General by 30 November 1994,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1.  Decides hereby, having received the request of the Government of Rwanda (S/1994/1115), to establish an international tribunal for the sole purpose of prosecuting persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994 and to this end to adopt the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda annexed hereto;

2.  Decides that all States shall cooperate fully with the International Tribunal and its organs in accordance with the present resolution and the Statute of the International Tribunal and that consequently all States shall take any measures necessary under their domestic law to implement the provisions of the present resolution and the Statute, including the obligation of States to comply with requests for assistance or orders issued by a Trial Chamber under Article 28 of the Statute, and requests States to keep the Secretary-General informed of such measures;

3.  Considers that the Government of Rwanda should be notified prior to the taking of decisions under articles 26 and 27 of the Statute;

4.  Urges States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to contribute funds, equipment and services to the International Tribunal, including the offer of expert personnel;

5.  Requests the Secretary-General to implement this resolution urgently and in particular to make practical arrangements for the effective functioning of the International Tribunal, including recommendations to the Council as to possible locations for the seat of the International Tribunal at the earliest time and to report periodically to the Council;

6.  Decides that the seat of the International Tribunal shall be determined by the Council having regard to considerations of justice and fairness as well as administrative efficiency, including access to witnesses, and economy, and subject to the conclusion of appropriate arrangements between the United Nations and the State of the seat, acceptable to the Council, having regard to the fact that the International Tribunal may meet away from its seat when it considers it necessary for the efficient exercise of its functions; and decides that an office will be established and proceedings will be conducted in Rwanda, where feasible and appropriate, subject to the conclusion of similar appropriate arrangements;

7.  Decides to consider increasing the number of judges and Trial Chambers of the International Tribunal if it becomes necessary;

8.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Annex  Statute of the International Tribunal for Rwanda

Having been established by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994 (hereinafter referred to as "the International Tribunal for Rwanda") shall function in accordance with the provisions of the present Statute.

Article 1  Competence of the International Tribunal for Rwanda

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994, in accordance with the provisions of the present Statute.

Article 2  Genocide

1.  The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons committing genocide as defined in paragraph 2 of this article or of committing any of the other acts enumerated in paragraph 3 of this article.

2.  Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. (a)  Killing members of the group;

  2. (b)  Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

  3. (c)  Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  4. (d)  Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

  5. (e)  Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

3.  The following acts shall be punishable:

  1. (a)  Genocide;

  2. (b)  Conspiracy to commit genocide;

  3. (c)  Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

  4. (d)  Attempt to commit genocide;

  5. (e)  Complicity in genocide.

Article 3  Crimes against humanity

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for the following crimes when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population on national, political, ethnic, racial or religious grounds:

  1. (a)  Murder;

  2. (b)  Extermination;

  3. (c)  Enslavement;

  4. (d)  Deportation;

  5. (e)  Imprisonment;

  6. (f)  Torture;

  7. (g)  Rape;

  8. (h)  Persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds;

  9. (i)  Other inhumane acts.

Article 4  Violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons committing or ordering to be committed serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, and of Additional Protocol II thereto of 8 June 1977. These violations shall include, but shall not be limited to:

  1. (a)  Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular murder as well as cruel treatment such as torture, mutilation or any form of corporal punishment;

  2. (b)  Collective punishments;

  3. (c)  Taking of hostages;

  4. (d)  Acts of terrorism;

  5. (e)  Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, rape, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault;

  6. (f)  Pillage;

  7. (g)  The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples;

  8. (h)  Threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.

Article 5  Personal jurisdiction

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to the provisions of the present Statute.

Article 6  Individual criminal responsibility

1.  A person who planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime referred to in articles 2 to 4 of the present Statute, shall be individually responsible for the crime.

2.  The official position of any accused person, whether as Head of State or Government or as a responsible Government official, shall not relieve such person of criminal responsibility nor mitigate punishment.

3.  The fact that any of the acts referred to in articles 2 to 4 of the present Statute was committed by a subordinate does not relieve his or her superior of criminal responsibility if he or she knew or had reason to know that the subordinate was about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof.

4.  The fact that an accused person acted pursuant to an order of a Government or of a superior shall not relieve him or her of criminal responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the International Tribunal for Rwanda determines that justice so requires.

Article 7  Territorial and temporal jurisdiction

The territorial jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall extend to the territory of Rwanda including its land surface and airspace as well as to the territory of neighbouring States in respect of serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by Rwandan citizens. The temporal jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall extend to a period beginning on 1 January 1994 and ending on 31 December 1994.

Article 8  Concurrent jurisdiction

1.  The International Tribunal for Rwanda and national courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute persons for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens for such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994.

2.  The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have primacy over the national courts of all States. At any stage of the procedure, the International Tribunal for Rwanda may formally request national courts to defer to its competence in accordance with the present Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

Article 9  Non bis in idem

1.  No person shall be tried before a national court for acts constituting serious violations of international humanitarian law under the present Statute, for which he or she has already been tried by the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

2.  A person who has been tried by a national court for acts constituting serious violations of international humanitarian law may be subsequently tried by the International Tribunal for Rwanda only if:

  1. (a)  The act for which he or she was tried was characterized as an ordinary crime; or

  2. (b)  The national court proceedings were not impartial or independent, were designed to shield the accused from international criminal responsibility, or the case was not diligently prosecuted.

3.  In considering the penalty to be imposed on a person convicted of a crime under the present Statute, the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall take into account the extent to which any penalty imposed by a national court on the same person for the same act has already been served.

Article 10  Organization of the International Tribunal for Rwanda

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall consist of the following organs:

  1. (a)  The Chambers, comprising two Trial Chambers and an Appeals Chamber;

  2. (b)  The Prosecutor; and

  3. (c)  A Registry.

Article 11  Composition of the Chambers

The Chambers shall be composed of eleven independent judges, no two of whom may be nationals of the same State, who shall serve as follows:

  1. (a)  Three judges shall serve in each of the Trial Chambers;

  2. (b)  Five judges shall serve in the Appeals Chamber.

Article 12  Qualification and election of judges

1.  The judges shall be persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices. In the overall composition of the Chambers due account shall be taken of the experience of the judges in criminal law, international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.

2.  The members of the Appeals Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 (hereinafter referred to as "the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia") shall also serve as the members of the Appeals Chamber of the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

3.  The judges of the Trial Chambers of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall be elected by the General Assembly from a list submitted by the Security Council, in the following manner:

  1. (a)  The Secretary-General shall invite nominations for judges of the Trial Chambers from States Members of the United Nations and non-member States maintaining permanent observer missions at United Nations Headquarters;

  2. (b)  Within thirty days of the date of the invitation of the Secretary-General, each State may nominate up to two candidates meeting the qualifications set out in paragraph 1 above, no two of whom shall be of the same nationality and neither of whom shall be of the same nationality as any judge on the Appeals Chamber;

  3. (c)  The Secretary-General shall forward the nominations received to the Security Council. From the nominations received the Security Council shall establish a list of not less than twelve and not more than eighteen candidates, taking due account of adequate representation on the International Tribunal for Rwanda of the principal legal systems of the world;

  4. (d)  The President of the Security Council shall transmit the list of candidates to the President of the General Assembly. From that list the General Assembly shall elect the six judges of the Trial Chambers. The candidates who receive an absolute majority of the votes of the States Members of the United Nations and of the non-Member States maintaining permanent observer missions at United Nations Headquarters, shall be declared elected. Should two candidates of the same nationality obtain the required majority vote, the one who received the higher number of votes shall be considered elected.

4.  In the event of a vacancy in the Trial Chambers, after consultation with the Presidents of the Security Council and of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General shall appoint a person meeting the qualifications of paragraph 1 above, for the remainder of the term of office concerned.

5.  The judges of the Trial Chambers shall be elected for a term of four years. The terms and conditions of service shall be those of the judges of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. They shall be eligible for re-election.

Article 13  Officers and members of the Chambers

1.  The judges of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall elect a President.

2.  After consultation with the judges of the International Tribunal for Rwanda, the President shall assign the judges to the Trial Chambers. A judge shall serve only in the Chamber to which he or she was assigned.

3.  The judges of each Trial Chamber shall elect a Presiding Judge, who shall conduct all of the proceedings of that Trial Chamber as a whole.

Article 14  Rules of procedure and evidence

The judges of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall adopt, for the purpose of proceedings before the International Tribunal for Rwanda, the rules of procedure and evidence for the conduct of the pre-trial phase of the proceedings, trials and appeals, the admission of evidence, the protection of victims and witnesses and other appropriate matters of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia with such changes as they deem necessary.

Article 15  The Prosecutor

1.  The Prosecutor shall be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994.

2.  The Prosecutor shall act independently as a separate organ of the International Tribunal for Rwanda. He or she shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government or from any other source.

3.  The Prosecutor of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia shall also serve as the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal for Rwanda. He or she shall have additional staff, including an additional Deputy Prosecutor, to assist with prosecutions before the International Tribunal for Rwanda. Such staff shall be appointed by the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Prosecutor.

Article 16  The Registry

1.  The Registry shall be responsible for the administration and servicing of the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

2.  The Registry shall consist of a Registrar and such other staff as may be required.

3.  The Registrar shall be appointed by the Secretary-General after consultation with the President of the International Tribunal for Rwanda. He or she shall serve for a four-year term and be eligible for reappointment. The terms and conditions of service of the Registrar shall be those of an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.

4.  The staff of the Registry shall be appointed by the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Registrar.

Article 17  Investigation and preparation of indictment

1.  The Prosecutor shall initiate investigations ex-officio or on the basis of information obtained from any source, particularly from Governments, United Nations organs, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The Prosecutor shall assess the information received or obtained and decide whether there is sufficient basis to proceed.

2.  The Prosecutor shall have the power to question suspects, victims and witnesses, to collect evidence and to conduct on-site investigations. In carrying out these tasks, the Prosecutor may, as appropriate, seek the assistance of the State authorities concerned.

3.  If questioned, the suspect shall be entitled to be assisted by counsel of his or her own choice, including the right to have legal assistance assigned to the suspect without payment by him or her in any such case if he or she does not have sufficient means to pay for it, as well as to necessary translation into and from a language he or she speaks and understands.

4.  Upon a determination that a prima facie case exists, the Prosecutor shall prepare an indictment containing a concise statement of the facts and the crime or crimes with which the accused is charged under the Statute. The indictment shall be transmitted to a judge of the Trial Chamber.

Article 18  Review of the indictment

1.  The judge of the Trial Chamber to whom the indictment has been transmitted shall review it. If satisfied that a prima facie case has been established by the Prosecutor, he or she shall confirm the indictment. If not so satisfied, the indictment shall be dismissed.

2.  Upon confirmation of an indictment, the judge may, at the request of the Prosecutor, issue such orders and warrants for the arrest, detention, surrender or transfer of persons, and any other orders as may be required for the conduct of the trial.

Article 19  Commencement and conduct of trial proceedings

1.  The Trial Chambers shall ensure that a trial is fair and expeditious and that proceedings are conducted in accordance with the rules of procedure and evidence, with full respect for the rights of the accused and due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses.

2.  A person against whom an indictment has been confirmed shall, pursuant to an order or an arrest warrant of the International Tribunal for Rwanda, be taken into custody, immediately informed of the charges against him or her and transferred to the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

3.  The Trial Chamber shall read the indictment, satisfy itself that the rights of the accused are respected, confirm that the accused understands the indictment, and instruct the accused to enter a plea. The Trial Chamber shall then set the date for trial.

4.  The hearings shall be public unless the Trial Chamber decides to close the proceedings in accordance with its rules of procedure and evidence.

Article 20  Rights of the accused

1.  All persons shall be equal before the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

2.  In the determination of charges against him or her, the accused shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing, subject to article 21 of the Statute.

3.  The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the provisions of the present Statute.

4.  In the determination of any charge against the accused pursuant to the present Statute, the accused shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:

  1. (a)  To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he or she understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him or her;

  2. (b)  To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his or her defence and to communicate with counsel of his or her own choosing;

  3. (c)  To be tried without undue delay;

  4. (d)  To be tried in his or her presence, and to defend himself or herself in person or through legal assistance of his or her own choosing; to be informed, if he or she does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him or her, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him or her in any such case if he or she does not have sufficient means to pay for it;

  5. (e)  To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him or her and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him or her;

  6. (f)  To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he or she cannot understand or speak the language used in the International Tribunal for Rwanda;

  7. (g)  Not to be compelled to testify against himself or herself or to confess guilt.

Article 21  Protection of victims and witnesses

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall provide in its rules of procedure and evidence for the protection of victims and witnesses. Such protection measures shall include, but shall not be limited to, the conduct of in camera proceedings and the protection of the victim’s identity.

Article 22  Judgement

1.  The Trial Chambers shall pronounce judgements and impose sentences and penalties on persons convicted of serious violations of international humanitarian law.

2.  The judgement shall be rendered by a majority of the judges of the Trial Chamber, and shall be delivered by the Trial Chamber in public. It shall be accompanied by a reasoned opinion in writing, to which separate or dissenting opinions may be appended.

Article 23  Penalties

1.  The penalty imposed by the Trial Chamber shall be limited to imprisonment. In determining the terms of imprisonment, the Trial Chambers shall have recourse to the general practice regarding prison sentences in the courts of Rwanda.

2.  In imposing the sentences, the Trial Chambers should take into account such factors as the gravity of the offence and the individual circumstances of the convicted person.

3.  In addition to imprisonment, the Trial Chambers may order the return of any property and proceeds acquired by criminal conduct, including by means of duress, to their rightful owners.

Article 24  Appellate proceedings

1.  The Appeals Chamber shall hear appeals from persons convicted by the Trial Chambers or from the Prosecutor on the following grounds:

  1. (a)  An error on a question of law invalidating the decision; or

  2. (b)  An error of fact which has occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

2.  The Appeals Chamber may affirm, reverse or revise the decisions taken by the Trial Chambers.

Article 25  Review proceedings

Where a new fact has been discovered which was not known at the time of the proceedings before the Trial Chambers or the Appeals Chamber and which could have been a decisive factor in reaching the decision, the convicted person or the Prosecutor may submit to the International Tribunal for Rwanda an application for review of the judgement.

Article 26  Enforcement of sentences

Imprisonment shall be served in Rwanda or any of the States on a list of States which have indicated to the Security Council their willingness to accept convicted persons, as designated by the International Tribunal for Rwanda. Such imprisonment shall be in accordance with the applicable law of the State concerned, subject to the supervision of the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

Article 27  Pardon or commutation of sentences

If, pursuant to the applicable law of the State in which the convicted person is imprisoned, he or she is eligible for pardon or commutation of sentence, the State concerned shall notify the International Tribunal for Rwanda accordingly. There shall only be pardon or commutation of sentence if the President of the International Tribunal for Rwanda, in consultation with the judges, so decides on the basis of the interests of justice and the general principles of law.

Article 28  Cooperation and judicial assistance

1.  States shall cooperate with the International Tribunal for Rwanda in the investigation and prosecution of persons accused of committing serious violations of international humanitarian law.

2.  States shall comply without undue delay with any request for assistance or an order issued by a Trial Chamber, including, but not limited to:

  1. (a)  The identification and location of persons;

  2. (b)  The taking of testimony and the production of evidence;

  3. (c)  The service of documents;

  4. (d)  The arrest or detention of persons;

  5. (e)  The surrender or the transfer of the accused to the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

Article 29  The status, privileges and immunities of the International Tribunal for Rwanda

1.  The Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations of 13 February 1946 shall apply to the International Tribunal for Rwanda, the judges, the Prosecutor and his or her staff, and the Registrar and his or her staff.

2.  The judges, the Prosecutor and the Registrar shall enjoy the privileges and immunities, exemptions and facilities accorded to diplomatic envoys, in accordance with international law.

3.  The staff of the Prosecutor and of the Registrar shall enjoy the privileges and immunities accorded to officials of the United Nations under articles V and VII of the Convention referred to in paragraph 1 of this article.

4.  Other persons, including the accused, required at the seat or meeting place of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall be accorded such treatment as is necessary for the proper functioning of the International Tribunal for Rwanda.

Article 30  Expenses of the International Tribunal for Rwanda

The expenses of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall be expenses of the Organization in accordance with Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 31  Working languages

The working languages of the International Tribunal shall be English and French.

Article 32  Annual report

The President of the International Tribunal for Rwanda shall submit an annual report of the International Tribunal for Rwanda to the Security Council and to the General Assembly.