Defence Counsel & Detention Management Section (DCDMS)
Link to Manual for Practitioners and DCDMS Forms/Guidelines
The Section was established under the authority of the Registrar in July 1997 in order to assure the provision of competent defence counsel to indigent accused/suspects detained under the authority of the ICTR and to ensure that the United Nations Detention Facility (UNDF) conforms with international standards. The work of the Section is divided between activities associated with the assignment and provision of legal assistance and activities related to the Detention Facility while a large portion of the work of the Section is related to managing Defence Counsel issues. The remainder is taken up by the management of the Detention Facility.
The activities associated with the lawyers include compiling and maintaining the list of Defence Counsel which is submitted to the indigent detainees to allow them to choose their Defence Counsel. This list is made up of more than two hundred lawyers from a wide variety of countries representing the principal legal systems of the world. Once Defence Counsel have been chosen, the Section then briefs them on the functioning and jurisdiction of the ICTR (completing a checklist of services rendered in the process), acts as liaison between them and the Registrar on all matters related to the fulfillment of their mandate, and ensures the implementation of the various rules that govern the workings of the Tribunal, providing for the remuneration and reimbursement of the Defence Counsel teams as well as all other functions related to preparing the lawyers so they may provide the best possible defence for their clients separate from those functions performed by the other Sections of the Tribunal.
The Detention Facility
The ICTR has set up the United Nations Detention Facility (UNDF) with fifty-six purpose built cells within the Arusha prison Complex. The activities related to the Detention Facility include the supervision of the conformity of the UNDF with international standards, appraising the reports of the UNDF commanding officer, receiving and directing to the relevant authorities all requests and complaints from the detainees, liaising with the International Committee for the Red Cross and among other things authorizing visitors to the UNDF. The maximum sentence that can be imposed on an accused is life imprisonment
Daily Life of Detainees
Detainees may communicate by letter or by telephone with their families and other persons and may receive visits from family and friends under such restrictions or supervision as may be required in the interest of security. They may communicate fully and without restraint with their legal representatives and special offices have been constructed within the complex for lawyers to consult with their clients. Of necessity the freedom of detainees is limited however, they may associate with each other during periods of common activity such as religious observance, educational classes or physical exercise. Meals are prepared under the supervision of a qualified dietician and Medical Officer. The Rules require that the food given to detainees takes into account the age, health, religious and as far as possible, cultural requirements of the detainees.
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