The 16th Plenary Session of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda took place in Arusha on 7 July 2006. The session brought together the Judges of the Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber, Trial Chambers, the Prosecutor and the Registrar and the Association of Defence Lawyers (ADAD).
The Plenary was chaired by the President of the Tribunal, Judge Erik Møse. The Judges adopted several amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. A major change decided by the plenary was the abrogation of Rule 117 bis. Subsequently, there is no more appeal’s book to be filed by the Parties (Appellant and Respondent) before the Appeals Chamber.
Other amendments adopted are related to bringing some ICTR provisions in line with ICTY provisions so as to ease the task of the Appeals Chamber shared by the two ad hoc tribunals. The judges have considered some deadlines for filing appeals briefs. Some procedural intermediate steps which have proved not to foster judicial efficiency have also been suppressed.
Pursuant to Rule 6, an amendment shall enter into force immediately, but shall not operate to prejudice the rights of the accused in any pending case.