Saturday, December 20, 2008
The U.N. Security Council called on the United Nations war crimes tribunals dealing with the 1994 Rwanda genocide and the Balkans conflicts of the 1990s to conduct their trials as quickly and efficiently as possible, and pledged to support their efforts to complete their work.
Ambassador Neven Juric of Croatia, which holds the Council Presidency for the month of December, noted that “the deadline for completion of trial activities at first instance has not been met and that the Tribunals have indicated that their work is not likely to end in 2010.”
The completion strategy of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) requires it to finish trials of first instance by 2009. But its President, Patrick Robinson, told the Security Council that while the Tribunal was still on track to complete most of its trials during 2009, some trials would continue into the first part of 2010. This would also affect the dates for appeals, which may spill over into 2012.
Likewise, President Dennis Byron of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said that instead of the decreased workload that might have been expected with the Tribunal moving towards the completion of its mandate, the court was now confronted with as many as 10 new cases. At the same time, ICTR is faced with the resignation of judges and 13 fugitives remained at large.
To assist the ICTR, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the Secretary-General to appoint up to three additional ad litem, or short-term, judges to ICTR, as requested by its President. The Council took a similar decision regarding the ICTY last week. Click here to read Security Council Resolution 1849 on ICTY.