Thursday, June 30, 2011
Yesterday, the UN Security Council (UNSC) voted unanimously to extend the terms of the eight permanent judges serving on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The ICTY was created to try perpetrators of the worst crimes committed during conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The extension is necessary to ensure that the court is adequately staffed to complete its work. Their terms have been extended until 31 December 2012 or until the completion of the cases to which they are assigned. In addition, the terms of nine ad litem judges – who are limited to particular cases – were also extended until 31 December 2012 or until the completion of the cases to which they are assigned.
The UNSC Resolution “reiterates the importance of the International Tribunal being adequately staffed to complete its work expeditiously and calls upon relevant United Nations bodies to intensify cooperation with the Secretariat and the Registrar of the International Tribunal and to take a flexible approach in order to find practicable solutions to address this issue as the International Tribunal approaches the completion of its work, and at the same time calls upon the International Tribunal to renew its efforts to focus on its core functions,” said the resolution.
The Resolution calls on all States, especially those that emerged from the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, to intensify cooperation with and to render all necessary assistance to ICTY, particularly in the arrest of Goran Hadžic, a key war crimes suspect who remains at large.
The UNSC also commended States that have concluded agreements for the enforcement of sentences of those convicted by ICTY or have otherwise accepted such convicts to serve their sentences in their territories, and urged countries to renew their commitment to the enforcement of sentences and to positively consider requests from the tribunal in this regard. Finally, it urged States that have not concluded agreements for the enforcement of sentences of ICTY convicts to consider entering into such pacts.
(cgb) (adapted from a UN Press Release)