Self-Representation before the International Criminal Court: Safeguarding the Interests of Justice and Protecting Human Rights

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At the beginning of the new millennium, two cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) — namely, Milosević and Šešelj — sparked an outburst of scholarly comment regarding the right to self-representation within international criminal tribunals. The right that serves as an instrument of a fair trial suddenly became an interesting topic of research for at least two reasons. The first one relates to the status of the persons who invoked such right. Slobodan Milošević was the president of Yugoslavia during the war in early 1990’s, while Vojislav Šešelj was arguably one of the most prominent political figures of that time, and most certainly, the second in the line — together with Milošević — who was tried before the ICTY. The second reason was the existence of a certain ambiguity in interpretation, since there was no jurisprudence concerning this matter before international criminal tribunals.