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

Thank you.

Well, we have two preliminary matters to mention. The first matter is the delivery of the full judgement, which is a huge judgement. The Trial Chamber had aimed at having it published last Monday. However, the technicians who were formatting the judgement for publication have had challenges due to the voluminous size of the judgement, and they was not able to meet the Monday dead-line.

However, they have guaranteed that the judgement will be ready for publication before close of business this Friday.

Now, the second matter is as follows: Before proceeding today, it gives us no pleasure to have to place on record some explanation for the extraordinary situation which occurred at the end of the previous sitting of the Trial Chamber on 26th of April, 2012, on which date the Trial Chamber delivered its summary judgement.

On that date, at the conclusion of the proceedings, the Alternate Judge, without any notice to the Trial Chamber, proceeded to deliver his own opinions from the bench on the judgement that had just been delivered on these proceedings and on the Special Court itself. What the Alternate Judge did was in contravention of the agreement, the Statute, and the Rules which govern this Court and amounted to misconduct.

The purpose of attaching an Alternate Judge to a Trial Chamber is that he can be designated to replace a sitting Judge if that Judge is unable to continue sitting. See Article 12 of the Statute. No such designation has been made in the present case. Further, during the proceedings, the Alternate Judge may pose questions through the Presiding Judge, but there is no other entitlement for an Alternate Judge to speak during court proceedings. See Rule 16 bis (B). Moreover, an Alternate Judge does not have any say in decisions of the Trial Chamber. He is obliged to be present during deliberations off the Trial Chamber, but he is not entitled a vote thereat. See Rule 16 bis (C). It follows that it was wrong for the Alternate Judge, who has not been designated to replace a sitting Judge, to offer an opinion, whether dissenting or concurring, on a judgement of Trial Chamber.

The behaviour of Judge Sow was referred by the Council of Judges to a plenary meeting of the Judges of the Special Court. We three Trial Chamber Judges abstained from voting at that plenary.

I will now read onto the record the resolution of the plenary.

Resolution on complaint by Trial Chamber II against Justice Malick Sow. The Judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting on the 7th and 10th of May, 2012, in the 17th plenary of Judges, pursuant to Rule 15 bis (B) of the Rules of Procedure of Evidence of the Special Court which mandates the Council of Judges who refer an allegation of unfitness of a Judge to sit to the plenary if it determines that, one, the allegation is of a serious nature, and two, that there appears to be a substantial basis for same.

Pursuant also to Rule 24(iii) of the Rules, which provides that the Judges shall meet in plenary to decide upon matters relating to the internal functioning of the Chambers and the Special Court, seized of the complaint by the Judges of Trial Chamber II, dated 26th of April, 2012, against Justice Malick Sow, Alternate Judge, considering the response of Justice Malick Sow, dated the 1st of May, 2012, to the complaint, having also considered the views and recommendations of the Judges on the matter and the response of Justice Malick Sow to those views pursuant to Rule 15 bis (C) have reached the following conclusions:

1. The plenary declares that Justice Malick Sow's behaviour in court on the 26th of April, 2012, amounts to misconduct rendering him unfit to sit as an Alternate Judge of the Special Court.

2. The plenary recommends to the appointing authority pursuant to Rule 15 bis (B) to decide upon the further status of Justice Malick Sow.

3. Pursuant to Rule 24(iii), the plenary directs Justice Malick Sow to refrain from further sitting in the proceedings pending a decision from the appointing authority.

Done in Freetown, Sierra Leone, this 10th day of May, 2012, for and on behalf of the plenary, signed by the President Justice Jon Kamanda.

Now, Ms Hollis, you have one hour to address the Court and that will start from now which will bring you up to 20 to 11.00 you must complete your address.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech