Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the Obligations Towards the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

  As a Member of the United Nations, the FRY is under an international legal obligation to co-operate with the ICTY, which was set up under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 827, a legally binding resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. UNSCR 827 requires that "...all States shall co-operate fully with the International Tribunal and its organs in accordance with the present resolution and the Statute of the International Tribunal and that consequently all States shall take any measures necessary under their domestic law to implement the provisions of the present resolution and the Statute, including the obligation of States to comply with requests for assistance or orders issued by a Trial Chamber under Article 29 of the Statute."

  Article 29 of the ICTY Statute requires States to comply without undue delay with any request or order including the arrest or detention of persons and the surrender or the transfer of the accused to the International Tribunal.

  The domestic courts of the FRY do not have "prior jurisdiction" over an indictee if he or she is also accused of crimes against domestic law. Indeed, Article 9 of the ICTY Statute states that "[t]he International Tribunal shall have primacy over national courts. At any stage of the procedure, the International Tribunal may formally request national courts to defer to the competence of the International Tribunal in accordance with the present Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Tribunal." Conversely, under Rule 11 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence the Tribunal may, if it appears appropriate in the circumstances, suspend an indictment pending proceedings before the national courts.

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