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Plea Agreements

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Chapter Summary

The ICC Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence unequivocally provide for both options: no trial if the plea is accepted or a subsequent trial regardless of the plea. Plea agreements are common in certain jurisdictions of the world. A plea agreement may contain acknowledgement of the accused that by entering a plea of guilty he voluntarily waives certain procedural rights. A guilty plea indicates that an accused is admitting the veracity of the charges contained in an indictment. A guilty plea protects victims from having to relive their experiences and re-open old wounds. Although there can be exceptions, Trial Chambers are in principle limited to the factual basis of the guilty plea, set forth in such documents as the indictment, the plea agreement and a written statement of facts.

Keywords: guilty plea; ICC Statute; plea agreements; Rules of Procedure and Evidence; Trial Chambers

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