The ICTY's Continuing Struggle with the Right to Self-representation
The right to legal assistance is a fundamental safeguard for a fair trial. There is no international legal standard as to how to deal with the waiver of legal representation. Nonetheless, the fact that the ICTY allowed alleged war criminals such as Milošević, Šešelj, and Karadžić to represent themselves has generated criticism. This chapter outlines the problems the ICTY has faced, and is still facing, in accommodating an accused's wish to conduct his or her own defence. For instance, should it allow the self-represented accused the assistance of legal advisors and provide legal aid to such accused? It scrutinizes the commendable efforts that the ICTY has made to uphold this right. But it also addresses the flaws in legal reasoning and inconsistencies, even within the course of a single case, that have accompanied the decisions of the ICTY allowing self-representation.
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