Issue of general importance

Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 08.05.2012 KANYARUKIGA Gaspard
(ICTR-02-78-A)

264. The Trial Chamber considered that “for an accused to be convicted of ‘committing’ pursuant to a theory of [joint criminal enterprise], it must be established that he or she participated in the execution of the common plan or purpose of the enterprise”.[1] The Trial Chamber reasoned that, while Kanyarukiga participated in the planning of the destruction of the Nyange church, there was no evidence to suggest that he ordered, instigated, encouraged, or provided material assistance to the attackers.[2] Accordingly, it concluded that the evidence was insufficient to establish that Kanyarukiga “significantly contributed to the execution or commission of the crimes charged.”[3]

267. The Appeals Chamber notes that the Prosecution does not seek the invalidation of the Trial Judgement, but merely requests clarification on an issue of general importance to the development of the Tribunal’s case law.[4] The Appeals Chamber recalls that the Statute empowers it to hear appeals concerning an alleged error on a question of law “invalidating the decision”.[5] While, in exceptional circumstances, the Appeals Chamber has discretion to hear appeals where a party has raised a legal issue that would not invalidate the judgement,[6] it declines to do so in this case.[7]

[1] Trial Judgement, para. 643 (emphasis in original), referring to Stakić Appeal Judgement, para. 64; Kvočka et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 96; Vasiljević Appeal Judgement, para. 100; Ntakirutimana Appeal Judgement, para. 466; Tadić Appeal Judgement, para. 227.

[2] Trial Judgement, para. 643.

[3] Trial Judgement, para. 643.

[4] Prosecution Notice of Appeal [The Prosecutor v. Gaspard Kanyarukiga, Case No. ICTR-02-78-A, Prosecutor’s Notice of Appeal, 10 December 2010], para. 2; Prosecution Appeal Brief [The Prosecutor v. Gaspard Kanyarukiga, Case No. ICTR-02-78-A, Prosecutor’s Appellant’s Brief, 23 February 2011], para. 6.

[5] Article 24(1)(a) of the Statute

[6] See, inter alia, Haradinaj et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 9; Boškoski and Tarčulovski Appeal Judgement, para. 9; Nahimana et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 12.  

[7] See Article 24(1)(a) of the Statute.

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Leave to Appeal - 16.02.2001 KVOČKA et al.
(IT-98-30/1-AR73.5)

P. 3: CONSIDERING that it is for the Defence to show the Bench that the proposed appeal raises an issue of general importance to proceedings before the International Tribunal or in international law generally;

FINDING that there has been such showing in that the questions as to

i)  whether proceedings in the Trial Chamber should be suspended pending determination of the same
    or an allied issue by the International Court [of] Justice; and

ii)  the impact of decisions by each judicial body on the other constitute issues of general importance
    to proceedings before the International Tribunal and in international law generally;

constitute issues of general importance to proceedings before the International Tribunal and in international law generally;

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ICTR Rule Rule 73(B) ICTY Rule Rule 73(B)
Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Dismissing Prosecution's Ground 1 - 05.05.2005 BRĐANIN Radoslav
(IT-99-36-A)

CONSIDERING that although the principal mandate of the Appeals Chamber is to consider legal errors invalidating the Trial Chamber’s Judgement or factual errors occasioning a miscarriage of justice,[1] it has repeatedly held that it may also consider legal issues that are “of general significance to the Tribunal’s jurisprudence,”[2] even if they do not affect the verdict, so long as they have a “nexus with the case at hand,”[3] and that such determinations do not constitute impermissible “advisory opinions,”[4] but are instead necessary means of moving forward this ad hoc International Tribunal’s jurisprudence within the limited time in which it operates and contributing meaningfully to the overall development of international criminal law;[5]

[1] Statute of the International Tribunal, Art. 25.

[2] Prosecutor v. Tadić, Case No. IT-94-1-A, Judgement, 15 July 1999, paras 247 and 281; Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akeyesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-A, Judgement, 1 June 2001 (“Akayesu Appeal Judgement), para. 19; Prosecutor v. Delalić, Mucić, Delić, and Landžo et al., Case No. IT-96-21-A, Judgement, 20 February 2001, paras. 218 and 221.

[3] Akayesu Appeal Judgement, para. 24.

[4] Id. para 23.

[5] Id. paras. 21-22.

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Appeals of Decisions Rendered by a Single Judge - 09.08.2017 NIYITEGEKA Eliézer
(MICT-12-16-R)

Fn. 38. The Appeals Chamber also dismisses Niyitegeka’s further request that it provide guidance as to the appropriate procedures for generally challenging decisions related to confidential material not issued under Rule 86 of the Rules and rendered after the close of an applicant’s trial and appeal proceedings in addition to what has already been stated in this decision. Article 23 of the Statute of the Mechanism (“Statute”) provides that the Appeals Chamber may affirm, reverse or revise the decisions taken by a Single Judge or Trial Chamber. However, the Appeals Chamber does not have advisory power and Niyitegeka’s submission fails to demonstrate that this is an issue of general importance whose adjudication would contribute substantially to the Mechanism’s jurisprudence. See, e.g., Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brđanin, Case No. IT-99-36-A, Decision on Motion to Dismiss Ground 1 of the Prosecutor’s Appeal, 5 May 2005, p.3; The Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-A, Judgement, 23 November 2011, para. 23.

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MICT Statute Article 23