Today, 5 December 2018, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals’ (Mechanism) Rules Governing the Detention of Persons Awaiting Trial or Appeal before the Mechanism or Otherwise Detained on the Authority of the Mechanism (Rules of Detention), adopted by President Theodor Meron on 5 November 2018, enter into force.
The Rules of Detention govern the administration of the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha and the United Nations Detention Unit in The Hague, for persons detained in the Detention Units awaiting trial or appeal before the Mechanism or otherwise detained on the authority of the Mechanism, and ensure the continued application and protection of their individual rights while in detention. The Rules of Detention are guided by the overriding principles of humanity and respect for human dignity. They are based on international human rights law and internationally-accepted principles and standards for the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as embodied in such instruments as the Mandela Rules, the Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons Under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, and the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners. The Mechanism also consulted with the International Committee of the Red Cross in the development of the Rules of Detention.
The Rules of Detention draw upon the Rules of Detention of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, as well as the best practices of each Tribunal in managing the detention of individuals detained under their authority. Simultaneous with the entry into force of the Rules of Detention, the Registrar of the Mechanism, Mr. Olufemi Elias, issued the Mechanism’s Regulations on the Supervision of Visits to and Communications with Detainees, the Regulations on the Disciplinary Procedure for Detainees, and the Regulations on the Complaints Procedure for Detainees. These Regulations provide additional guidance on matters broadly covered in the Rules of Detention.
Together, the Rules of Detention and the related Regulations provide the legal framework for a safe and secure detention environment that ensures respect for the dignity of the individual.