The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

It is 26 bis, your Honours, which where relevant provides that:

"The Trial Chamber ... shall ensure that a trial is fair and expeditious and that proceedings before the Special Court are conducted in accordance with the Agreement, the Statute and the Rules, with full respect for the rights of the accused and due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses".

We are equally aware of the provisions, your Honour, of Rule 54, which does provide this tribunal with a power to issue orders as may be necessary for the conduct of the trial. We appreciate that such a discretion exists.

But equally - and equally we bear in mind the provisions of Rule 75(A) which again where relevant provides that a Chamber may:

"... order appropriate measures to safeguard the privacy and security of victims and witnesses, provided that the measures are consistent with the rights of the accused."

Furthermore, rule 85(B) where relevant provides that."

"Examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination shall be allowed in each case".

We note in passing the absence of any reference in that provision to the imposition of limitations on the time or scope of cross-examination.

We bear in mind further rule 89(B), which again where relevant provides:

"In cases not otherwise provided for in this Section, a Chamber shall apply rules of evidence which will best favour a fair determination of the matter before it and are consonant with the spirit of the Statute and the general principles of law."

And the final provision to which I refer your Honours is rule 90(F), which again where relevant provides that:

"The Trial Chamber shall exercise control over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to:

(i) Make the interrogation and presentation effective for the ascertainment of the truth; and.

(ii) Avoid the wasting of time".

Again, we note the absence of any reference in that provision to the imposition of limitations on time or scope of cross-examination.

Now bearing in mind those provisions, your Honour, we submit that the following arguments are important. On 21 February of this year you, Madam President, stated during the course of the proceedings that, "The first interest of this Court is in proper justice and a fair trial. Efficiency comes after that", and so we would submit that in the context of the Prosecution's application for time limits on cross-examination the Chamber's focus should remain on concepts of justice and fairness, rather than expediency or efficiency.

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