13 May 1998


Press Release
SC/6514



COUNCIL DECIDES TO ESTABLISH THIRD TRIAL CHAMBER OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

19980513

Three Additional Judges To Be Elected as Soon As Possible, by Resolution 1166 (1998), Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council this afternoon decided to establish a third Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and, towards that end, amended articles 11, 12 and 13 of the Tribunal's statute, replacing them with provisions set out in an annex to the resolution. The articles cover the Tribunal's organization, the composition of its Chambers and qualification and election of judges respectively.

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1166 (1998), by which it also decided to hold elections for the three additional judges as soon as possible to serve in the additional Trial Chamber. In a preambular paragraph, the Council stated that it was convinced of the need to increase the number of judges and the Trial Chambers in order to enable the Tribunal to try without delay the large number of accused currently awaiting trial. According to the letter of the Tribunal President, addressed to the Secretary-General, there are currently 25 accused persons in the Detention Unit of the Tribunal.

The amended article 11, on organization, states that the Tribunal's organs shall consist of the Chambers, comprising three Trial Chambers and an Appeals Chamber; the Prosecutor; and a Registry.

Under the new article 12, the Chambers will be composed of 14 independent judges, with no two being from the same State. Three judges shall serve in each of the Trial Chambers, while five judges shall serve in the Appeals Chamber.

The amended article 13 explains the judges' qualifications and election procedures. Within 60 days of the Secretary-General's invitation to do so, each State may nominate up to two candidates, from which the Council shall establish a list of not less than 28 and not more than 42 candidates, taking due account of adequate representation of the principal legal systems of the world. From the list drawn up by the Security Council, the Assembly shall elect 14 judges. The judges serve for four years, and are eligible for re-election.


Security Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6514 3878th Meeting (PM) 13 May 1998

The Council urged all States to cooperate fully with the Tribunal and its organs, in accordance with their obligations under resolution 827 (1993), and the Statute of the International Tribunal. It welcomed the cooperation already extended to the Tribunal in fulfilling its mandate.

Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to make practical arrangements for the elections of the additional judges, and for enhancing the Tribunal's functioning, in particular for the Third Chamber and the related offices of the Prosecutor.

The Tribunal's Registry has estimated the full utilization of the Third Chamber would cost about $14.2 million annually.

Statements were made this afternoon by the representatives of the United Kingdom (for the European Union), Costa Rica, Portugal, Japan, Sweden, United States, Slovenia, Brazil, France, Russian Federation, Gabon, Bahrain, Gambia, China and Kenya.

The meeting, which was called to order at 12:26 p.m., was adjourned at 1:16 p.m.

(page 2 follows) Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. It had before it a letter from the Secretary-General, dated 5 May, to the Presidents of the Security Council and of the General Assembly (document A/52/891-S/1998/376). The letter refers to a recommendation of the Tribunal President, contained in a letter annexed to the document, that third Trial Chamber be established, staffed by three additional judges, and a fourth judge be added, to be assigned as needed to either a Trial Chamber or the Appeals Chamber.

The Tribunal President cites a recent and dramatic increase in the number of accused persons on custody. Since October 1997, the number has increased almost threefold from 10 to 29. She states that without the additional Trial Chamber, some of the accused who had recently been placed in custody might have to wait until the year 2000 for their cases to begin. Such an event would contravene the Tribunal's mandate to provide accused persons with a fair and expeditious trial. The urgency to her request also relates to the need for full utilization of two new court facilities: one financed by the United Kingdom and the other by the Netherlands, United States and Canada. The two courtrooms will be ready for trial activity in May and June 1998, respectively. With the establishment of the third Trial Chamber, all three courtrooms would be fully utilized.

While the Tribunal's capacity to fulfil its mandate is being enhanced by the two additional courtrooms, resources are required for additional staff and equipment to carry out the activity, the Tribunal President writes. The costs of a third Trial Chamber, consisting of four judges, five Professional legal staff and two secretaries, is estimated at $1,153,400 for a full calendar year. In addition, preparation for trials, support costs and operational requirements for the courtroom to be used by the new Chamber are estimated at $12,996,600 per calendar year. The total of those amounts comes to almost $14.2 million.

Draft Resolution

Also before the Council is a draft resolution (document S/1998/386), sponsored by Costa Rica, France, Japan, Kenya, Portugal Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States, the text of which reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its resolution 827 (1993) of 25 May 1993,

"Remaining convinced that the prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia contributes to the restoration and maintenance of peace in the former Yugoslavia,

"Having considered the letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council dated 5 May 1998 (S/1998/376),

"Convinced of the need to increase the number of judges and Trial Chambers, in order to enable the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 ("the International Tribunal") to try without delay the large number of accused awaiting trial,

"Noting the significant progress being made in improving the procedures of the International Tribunal, and convinced of the need for its organs to continue their efforts to further such progress,

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1. Decides to establish a third Trial Chamber of the International Tribunal, and to this end decides to amend articles 11, 12 and 13 of the Statute of the International Tribunal and to replace those articles with the provisions set out in the annex to this resolution;

"2. Decides that three additional judges shall be elected as soon as possible to serve in the additional Trial Chamber, and decides also, without prejudice to article 13.4 of the Statute of the International Tribunal, that once elected they shall serve until the date of the expiry of the terms of office of the existing judges, and that for the purpose of that election the Security Council shall, notwithstanding article 13.2 (c) of the Statute, establish a list from the nominations received of not less than six and not more than nine candidates;

"3. Urges all States to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal and its organs in accordance with their obligations under resolution 827 (1993) and the Statute of the International Tribunal and welcomes the cooperation already extended to the Tribunal in the fulfilment of its mandate;

"4. Requests the Secretary-General to make practical arrangements for the elections mentioned in paragraph 2 above and for enhancing the effective functioning of the International Tribunal, including the timely provision of personnel and facilities, in particular for the third Trial Chamber and related offices of the Prosecutor, and further requests him to keep the Security Council closely informed of progress in this regard;

"5. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."

"ANNEX

Article 11

Organization of the International Tribunal

The International Tribunal shall consist of the following organs:

(a) The Chambers, comprising three Trial Chambers and an Appeals Chamber,

(b) The Prosecutor, and

(c) A Registry, servicing both the Chambers and the Prosecutor.

Article 12

Composition of the Chambers

The Chambers shall be composed of fourteen independent judges, no two of whom may be nationals of the same State, who shall serve as follows:

(a) Three judges shall serve in each of the Trial Chambers;

(b) Five judges shall serve in the Appeals Chamber.

Article 13

Qualifications and election of judges

1. The judges shall be persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices. In the overall composition of the Chambers due account shall be taken of the experience of the judges in criminal law, international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.

2. The judges of the International Tribunal shall be elected by the General Assembly from a list submitted by the Security Council, in the following manner:

(a) The Secretary-General shall invite nominations for judges of the International Tribunal from States Members of the United Nations and non-member States maintaining permanent observer missions at United Nations Headquarters;

(b) Within sixty days of the date of the invitation of the Secretary-General, each State may nominate up to two candidates meeting the qualifications set out in paragraph 1 above, no two of whom shall be of the same nationality;

(c) The Secretary-General shall forward the nominations received to the Security Council. From the nominations received the Security Council shall establish a list of not less than twenty-eight and not more than forty-two candidates, taking due account of the adequate representation of the principal legal systems of the world;

(d) The President of the Security Council shall transmit the list of candidates to the President of the General Assembly. From that list the General Assembly shall elect the fourteen Judges of the International Tribunal. The candidates who receive an absolute majority of the votes of the States Members of the United Nations and of the non-member States maintaining permanent observer missions at United Nations Headquarters, shall be declared elected. Should two candidates of the same nationality obtain the required majority vote, the one who received the higher number of votes shall be considered elected.

3. In the event of a vacancy in the Chambers, after consultation with the Presidents of the Security Council and of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General shall appoint a person meeting the qualifications of paragraph 1 above, for the remainder of the term of office concerned.

4. The judges shall be elected for a term of four years. The terms and conditions of service shall be those of the judges of the International Court of Justice. They shall be eligible for re-election."

Statements

Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) spoke for the European Union and the following associated States: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Iceland and Norway. He reaffirmed the Union's support of the International Tribunal, and its admiration for the Tribunal's achievements. While noting the intensified work of the Tribunal, he expressed concern about the failure of some States to fulfil their obligations to cooperate with the Tribunal. He called on all States and entities to extend their cooperation.

Given the Tribunal's increased workload, it was no surprise that the existing resources were under heavy pressure, he said. The Union favoured the establishment of the third Trial Chamber. Further, it supported the Secretary-General's request to enhance the functioning of the Tribunal, in particular by the timely provision of personnel and facilities. The Union was pleased to recall that a second courtroom had recently opened, and that a third such courtroom was soon to be completed. Reaffirming that the Tribunal must be given adequate resources to carry out its mandate, he said the Union had made voluntary contributions to assist the Tribunal in fulfilling its functions. He hoped that the Tribunal would continue to be provided with the necessary financial support, including through the payment of annual contributions in full and on time.

The decision to increase the number of Trial Chambers, as well as the similar decision regarding the Rwanda Tribunal, taken last month, both indicated the international community's broad concern that those who committed serious offenses be brought to justice, he said. He emphasized the Union's strong support for the establishment of the international criminal court at the Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries, to be held in Rome this year. The establishment of such a court was necessary to provide a permanent mechanism to deter the commission of such crimes in the future.

MELVIN SAENZ BIOLLEY (Costa Rica) said the Tribunal had drafted its rules and heard a small number of cases. He noted with particular satisfaction progress in practices and rules of procedure regarding the protection of witnesses, among other developments. His delegation believed that the existence of the Tribunal had given impetus to the establishment of an international criminal court, to which Costa Rica was firmly committed. Only by creating such a court would the international community be rejecting the most serious of crimes. The temporary courts established by the Council were palliative efforts, relegated to dealing with emergency situations.

Impunity was a threat to peace, and the Tribunal was indispensable to the peace in the Balkans, he said. Thus, lack of cooperation by some States or entities was scandalous. It was essential that all such entities comply with their obligations. Arrests of the accused must take place. Authorities must cooperate with activities related to collecting evidence. Greater efforts were needed to ensure that the Tribunal had sufficient resources. His delegation responded favourably to the request for a third Trial Chamber.

Swift action was one basic requirement of the proper administration of justice. His delegation had co-sponsored the draft and would vote for it.

ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said the Tribunal played an important role in the international effort to ensure that peace take root in the former Yugoslavia. The Tribunal must be given the necessary resources to function effectively. The important work of this Tribunal and that of Rwanda pointed to the necessity for a permanent tribunal to try war criminals. Portugal supported the creation of a permanent tribunal to try crimes.

HANS DAHLGREN (Sweden) said in order to prevent horrendous crimes against international humanitarian law, often committed in the name of the "repulsive" policy of "ethnic cleansing", the persons responsible must be

brought to justice. The establishment of the Tribunal in 1993 was an important indication of the international community's determination to put an end to such crimes.

He said the work of the International Tribunal was also a crucial element in the broader peace implementation and reconciliation process in the former Yugoslavia. Impunity bred continued hate and mistrust, while transparent justice brought hope for future generations. That was why all indicted war criminals must be brought to The Hague.

The work of the Tribunal had intensified, he said. While the recent increase in the number of indicted persons in custody was most welcome, the Tribunal's resources must be adapted accordingly to enable those persons to be tried without undue delay. The Tribunal's case load clearly had reached a point where it required increased resources. Today's decision confirmed the Council's strong support for its work and role. That decision along with the similar one made last month concerning the Rwanda Tribunal had highlighted the need for a permanent international criminal court.

BILL RICHARDSON (United States) said that by approving the resolution to amend the Tribunal's statute, the Council was reaffirming its commitment to holding accountable the perpetrators of the ethnic crimes witnessed during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The United States was pleased to support the resolution because it affirmed the important work already completed by the Tribunal, as well as the daunting task at hand. Increasing the Tribunal's capacity to try cases confirmed its success thus far.

Despite efforts of the international community, however, a number of the most notorious indictees remained at large, he said. He called on all States to enhance their cooperation to ensure that all indictees were brought to justice. Those indictees not yet in custody must understand that there was no safe haven for them. It was a foregone conclusion that they would be brought to justice. The only question was when.

Having created a new trial Chamber, it could not be assumed that all the needs of the Tribunal had been met, he said. The increased workload would result in a concomitant increase in the resources needed. All States should make voluntary contributions to the trust fund for the Tribunal. The international community must help the Tribunal complete its mission. He hoped that the international community would work constructively on establishing a tribunal to bring to justice senior Cambodian Khmer Rouge leaders during the period 1975 to 1979.

DANILO T RK (Slovenia) associated himself with the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union. The Tribunal had demonstrated admirable credibility as an independent court, and had proven itself to be an important international judicial institution, vital to the implementation of the Dayton peace accords. Any hindrance to the Tribunal's statutory functions would negatively affect endeavours to build a lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as regional security. The International Tribunal, therefore, could not afford to fail in its mission.

The Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda had set important precedents in international criminal jurisprudence, he said. Their existence underscored the need for a permanent international mechanism to address human rights and humanitarian law violations. In that context, Slovenia was strongly committed to the establishment of an independent, impartial and effective permanent international criminal court at the Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Rome this summer.

He said that despite his country's confidence in the Tribunal's ability to continue to manage its work efficiently and despite the increased number of persons in custody, Slovenia was seriously concerned that the most prominent indicted military and political leaders still remained at large. Bringing them to justice was an important condition for lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

HENRIQUE VALLE (Brazil) said his country's support for the creation of a third Trial Chamber should not be construed as approval of any amount of additional resources for the Tribunal. The financial issue should be discussed in the appropriate forum, taking into account the specific demands of the Tribunal, as well as the need to dispense equitable treatment to both ad hoc Tribunals.

He said Brazil supported the creation of the ad hoc Tribunals as an exceptional action on the part of the United Nations and of Member States, in face of exceptionally grave circumstances that demanded their creation. The international community was weeks away from the Rome Conference for the establishment of an international criminal court. The world must concentrate its efforts on the creation of a permanent institutional mechanism of administration of justice that was independent, impartial and efficient. With the establishment of such a court, there would be no more need for the United Nations to resort to ad hoc tribunals.

ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said he greatly admired the manner in which the Tribunal had endeavoured to fulfil its mandate. France had immediately supported the request submitted by the Tribunal's President for an increase in the number of judges and the establishment of a third Trial Chamber. The increase in the number of judges was needed because of the growing number of cases before the Tribunal. He expressed pleasure at the Council's unanimity and welcomed the Tribunal's efforts to improve its work.

SERGUEI N. KAREV (Russian Federation) said the Tribunal contributed to the establishment of peace in the region. His delegation had agreed to the request made by the President of the Tribunal for a third Trial Chamber, with the trust that it would expedite the fulfilment of the Tribunal's mandate. He further trusted that the reference in the draft resolution to Chapter VII of the Charter was a technicality and would not constitute a precedent.

PARFAIT-SERGE ONANGA-ANYANGA (Gabon) said the serious violations of international humanitarian law in the former Yugoslavia had shocked the world. Gabon had always supported the establishment of the Tribunal to try those responsible for the crimes. The decision to create an additional Trial Chamber would no doubt improve its effectiveness.

RASHID AL-DOSARI (Bahrain) commended the work of the International Tribunal and expressed the hope that adoption of the current draft resolution would contribute to improving the Tribunal's effectiveness. Bahrain urged the different parties in the former Yugoslavia to cooperate with the Tribunal. All those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law should be prosecuted for their crimes.

MAUDO TOURAY (Gambia) said that with the dramatic increase in the number of accused persons to 29 and the existence of 54 public indictees who remained outside custody, the Tribunal was unable to expeditiously conclude all the trials. It needed additional judicial support in the form of a third Trial Chamber, as the Tribunal's President had compellingly argued in his report of 9 April.

The addition of a third Trial Chamber would also avoid impinging on the right of the accused to be tried expeditiously, as guaranteed by the Tribunal's statute, he said. While Gambia noted with satisfaction the improvements made in the court's working procedures, it urged its members to consider enhancing them further. The current draft resolution fell within the category of legitimate measures aimed at protecting fundamental rights.

SHEN GUOFANG (China) said his country had always opposed actions that violated international humanitarian law. China had therefore voted in favour of establishing the Tribunal. Since then, the Tribunal had achieved certain results. Cooperation should continue to enable it to complete its work at the earliest possible date. It was hoped that the Council's decision today would speed that work. China would vote in favour of the draft resolution, but had reservations about invoking Chapter VII of the Charter. In the past five years, the situation in the former Yugoslavia region had undergone changes, and it did not make sense to invoke Chapter VII now.

Council President NJUGUNA M. MAHUGU (Kenya), speaking as his country's representative, said that when the Council, on 30 April, took its decision on expanding the Rwanda Tribunal, his delegation had underscored the primary goal of both ad hoc Tribunals: to bring peace and reconciliation through justice. The cause of justice required that both Tribunals be provided with the tools needed to fulfil their mandates in an effective and efficient manner.

The guarantee of fair and expeditious trials was paramount, he said. Kenya therefore welcomed and supported the decision to establish a third Trial Chamber and appreciated the efforts of those States which had financed the construction of additional court facilities. The draft resolution urged all States to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal and its organs in bringing to justice all those suspected of having committed crimes in the former Yugoslavia. As new evidence of gross human rights abuses perpetrated against the civilian population in Bosnia and elsewhere in the region continued to emerge, he appealed to those concerned to take appropriate steps to ensure that those indicted for war crimes were apprehended and brought to trial.

Action on Draft

The draft resolution was adopted unanimously as Security Council resolution 1166 (1998).

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