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Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals
Mécanisme pour les Tribunaux pénaux internationaux
Enforcement of sentences
On 1 July 2012 and 1 July 2013, the Mechanism took over responsibility for the supervision of all sentences pronounced by the ICTR and the ICTY, respectively.
Individuals convicted of crimes by the ICTR or ICTY do not serve their sentences in the United Nations detention facilities in Arusha or The Hague, because these facilities are not penitentiaries. Sentences are served in UN Member States that have concluded enforcement agreements with the Tribunals or the Mechanism. The same regime applies to any individuals convicted by the MICT and the agreements concluded by the ICTR and ICTY remain in force for the MICT.
This map displays the States that have signed an enforcement of sentences agreement and where convicted persons have been transferred.
How an enforcement State is chosen
The decision on where a convicted person will serve his or her sentence is governed by Article 25 of the Mechanism Statute and the Mechanism’s Practice Direction on the Procedure for Designation of the State in which a Convicted Person is to Serve His or Her Sentence. The designation process consists of 4 steps:
- The Registrar communicates with one or more State(s) to determine their willingness to enforce the sentence.
- The Registrar submits a report to the Mechanism President, which lists potential enforcing State(s) and contains other pertinent information.
- The President designates an enforcement State, based on the information submitted by the Registrar and any other inquiries he or she chooses to make.
- The Registrar executes the decision.
Standards of detention
Sentences handed down by the ICTR, ICTY, and Mechanism are enforced in accordance with international standards of detention and the applicable law of the enforcing State, subject to the supervision of the Mechanism.
Conditions of imprisonment must be compatible with relevant human rights standards including:
- The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977.
- The Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, approved by the UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 Dec. 1988.
- The Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, affirmed by the UN General Assembly resolution 45/111 of 14 Dec. 1990.
Recognised organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment regularly monitor the conditions of imprisonment to ensure international standards are being met.
Pardon, Commutation of Sentence or Early Release
Article 26 of the Mechanism Statute enables those convicted by the ICTR, the ICTY or the Mechanism to apply for pardon, commutation of sentence or early release.
The decision on whether to grant a request is taken by the Mechanism President and, in addition to Article 26, is governed by:
- Rule 151 of the MICT Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and
- The Practice Direction on the Procedure for the Determination of Applications for Pardon, Commutation of Sentence and Early Release of Persons Convicted by the ICTR, the ICTY or the Mechanism.
As set out in the Practice Direction, an application may be initiated in two ways: by the enforcement State or by direct petition from the convicted person. See for example the First Decision of the MICT President on early release, in the case against Paul Bisengimana, 11 Dec. 2012.