Friday, 5 September 2008

Another Setback for the Office of the Prosecutor in Lubanga Case

Readers of the blog will know of the decisions by a Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court in June of this year ordering a stay of proceedings and the release of the accused in the first case to come to trial, Prosecutor v. Lubanga. The issue concerns disclosure to the defence of materials that the Prosecutor obtained on a confidential basis from the United Nations and some NGOs. These decisions are on appeal. But since then, the Prosecutor has been making efforts to repair the damage. He has obtained a number of concessions from the United Nations, including the right to disclose some documents entirely and others in redacted form.
Yesterday, the Trial Chamber ruled that this is still inadequate:
I was last in The Hague in early July, and was rather surprised at what I would call the great confidence in the Office of the Prosecutor that the situation was under control and would be resolved. At the Salzburg Summer School in mid-August, the Prosecutor told participants that everything was being repaired. But Professor Kai Ambos gave a talk a few days later reviewing what had been done, and it didn't look so clear. And now the Trial Chamber has said, once again, that the efforts of the Prosecutor are not good enough.

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