13 Jan Trial Chamber Grants Certification to Appeal
The Trial Chamber has granted certification to appeal its decision upholding the Registry’s selection of Richard Harvey as stand-by counsel. Here are the relevant paragraphs:
10. With regard to the first limb that must be met before certification to appeal can be granted under Rule 73(B) of the Rules, the Chamber notes that the Decision Denying Motion to Vacate concerned the process by which the Registrar appointed Richard Harvey, and in that Decision, the Chamber found that if the Registrar’s decision was flawed and/or illegal because he had not followed the proper procedure, this would inevitably affect the Accused’s fair trial rights and thus the propriety of the procedure was a matter that goes to the fairness of his trial. For the same reasons, with regard to the Application, the Chamber is of the view that as the procedural propriety of the Registrar’s decision-making process may impact upon the Accused’s rights, the Decision Denying Motion to Vacate involves an issue that would significantly affect the fair conduct of the proceedings or the outcome of the trial.
11. With regard to the second limb of Rule 73(B), the Chamber notes that the trial is set to resume on 1 March 2010. The role and functions of Richard Harvey at that time remain to be seen and are dependent on the Accused’s behaviour. However, as there is a possibility that Richard Harvey may be required to represent the interests of the Accused at trial, it is clearly desirable for the matter of the propriety of his appointment by the Registrar to be resolved immediately, and not at the end of the trial when it may raise the prospect of a re-trial. Therefore, the Chamber is satisfied that an immediate resolution by the Appeals Chamber of the validity of the manner in which Richard Harvey was appointed may materially advance the proceedings.
I’m delighted the Trial Chamber has finally been convinced that our challenge is not premature simply because Harvey has not yet been appointed actual counsel. As we have been pointing out for weeks, it makes no sense to appoint stand-by counsel who could not be appointed actual counsel. So it is in everyone’s interest to resolve the issue now.
Motions for certification to appeal are strange creatures. I’m not sure why the judges thought it would be a good idea to require the parties to ask the Trial Chamber for permission to appeal its own decisions. But at least the judges did the right thing here and certified our appeal. I’m rarely optimistic about our motions, but I can’t see how the Appeals Chamber can possibly endorse the Registry’s jerry-rigged selection of Harvey and the Trial Chamber’s hear-no-evil, see-no-evil “review” of that selection.