The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has been the object of scrutiny since its establishment, examined as a crucial practice of modern international criminal law. One focal point has been some defendant’s self-representation, leading to this project’s research question: In what ways did self-representation impact the legitimacy of the ICTY? It will answer this question by examining the impacts of Slobodan Milošević, Vojislav Šešelj, and Radovan Karadžić’s trials on the ability for the ICTY to achieve its goals.
In order to answer this question, this capstone will review the literature to establish pertinent academic perspectives. Building upon this, primary sources in the form of transcripts and decisions from the trials will be utilised. Finally, to provide first-hand expertise, this paper includes interviews from members of the Prosecution and Defence from each trial analysed.
Collectively this will demonstrate that self-representation, as a defendant’s right that is not specifically restrained within the Statute, can have both a positive and negative impact on the goals of the Tribunal. However, considering the variance in the obstructiveness of self-representing defendants, and the lack of legally established rules surrounding self-representation, this capstone ultimately posits that self-representation is disruptive to the Tribunal’s goals and legitimacy.