18/01/2005
Press Release
SC/8294


Security Council

5112th Meeting (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVES TERM EXTENSIONS, APPOINTMENTS OF JUDGES


ON TRIBUNAL FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA


Resolution 1581 (2005) Adopted Unanimously


Acting at the request of the Secretary-General, the Security Council today approved the extension of the terms of office of seven short-term judges on the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, allowing those officials to finish adjudicating the cases on which they had begun working.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1581 (2005), the Security Council also approved the Secretary-General’s request to appoint two additional ad litem judges to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) -- one to serve for a case beginning on 24 January 2005, and the other to take over a case from a departing judge.  With the Council’s approval, both decisions now move to the General Assembly, as the organ that elects judges, for final approval.


The Council created the pool of ad hoc, or ad litem, judges, to serve four-year terms in June 2001 in an effort to speed up the work of the Tribunal, which was set up in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1993 to prosecute those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the wars that saw the break-up of Yugoslavia.


The Council’s action follows a letter from Secretary-General Kofi Anan to the President of the 15-nation body, as well as the President of the Assembly, dated 7 January 2005 (document A/59/666-S/2005/9), in which Mr. Annan notes that the terms of office of the current pool of ad hoc judges for the Tribunal would come to an end on 11 June 2005 and that under the Tribunal’s statue, such judges were not eligible for re-election.


He expressed concern that if the seven judges were not allowed to continue adjudicating the cases on which they were working, it would be necessary to start each trial anew with fresh panels of jurists and order the rehearing of witnesses and the representation of arguments.  That would have substantial financial consequences and obviously have a serious negative impact on the Tribunal’s ability to achieve the target dates in its completion strategy.  Mr. Annan also notes that Tribunal President Meron had requested that he appoint two additional members from the current pool of ad litem judges to try cases anticipated to continue beyond 11 June 2005.


By the resolution adopted today, the Council decided that once replaced as ad litem judges, Judge Rasoazanany and Judge Swart would finish the Hadžihasanovic case; that Judge Brydensholt and Judge Eser, would finish the Oric case; that Judge Thelin and Judge Van Den Wyngaert, would finish the Limaj case; and that Judge Canivell would finish the Krajišnik case.


The Council also decided that Judge Szénási, if appointed to serve in the International Tribunal for the trial of the Halilovic case, proceed, once replaced as an ad litem judge of the International Tribunal, to finish that case, which he would have begun before expiry of his term of office and that Judge Hanoteau, if appointed to serve in the trial of the Krajišnik case, proceed, once replaced as an ad litem judge, to finish that case.


The text expressed the Council’s expectation that the extension of the terms of office of the ad litem judges concerned would enhance the effectiveness of trial proceedings in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and contribute towards ensuring the implementation of the Completion Strategy.


The meeting began at 10:36 a.m., and adjourned at 10:38 a.m.


Resolution


The complete text of resolution 1581 (2005) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


“Taking note of the letter to the President of the Council from the Secretary-General dated 6 January 2005 (S/2005/9),


“Recalling its resolutions 1503 (2003) of 28 August 2003 and 1534 (2004) of 26 March 2004,


“Bearing in mind the statement made to the Security Council at its 5086th meeting on 23 November 2004 by the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in which he expressed the commitment by the International Tribunal to the Completion Strategy,


“Expressing its expectation that the extension of the terms of office of the ad litem judges concerned will enhance the effectiveness of trial proceedings and contribute towards ensuring the implementation of the Completion Strategy,


“1.   Decides, in response to the request by the Secretary-General, that:


(a)   Judge Rasoazanany and Judge Swart, once replaced as ad litem judges of the International Tribunal, finish the Hadžihasanović case, which they have begun before expiry of their term of office;


(b)   Judge Brydensholt and Judge Eser, once replaced as ad litem judges of the International Tribunal, finish the Orić case, which they have begun before expiry of their term of office;


(c)   Judge Thelin and Judge Van Den Wyngaert, once replaced as ad litem judges of the International Tribunal, finish the Limaj case, which they have begun before expiry of their term of office;


(d)   Judge Canivell, once replaced as an ad litem judge of the International Tribunal, finish the Krajišnik case, which he has begun before expiry of his term of office;


(e)   Judge Szénási, if appointed to serve in the International Tribunal for the trial of the Halilović case, proceed, once replaced as an ad litem judge of the International Tribunal, to finish that case, which he would have begun before expiry of his term of office;


(f)   Judge Hanoteau, if appointed to serve in the International Tribunal for the trial of the Krajišnik case, proceed, once replaced as an ad litem judge of the International Tribunal, to finish that case, which he would have begun before expiry of his term of office;


“2.   Takes note in this regard of the intention of the International Tribunal to finish the Hadžihasanović case before the end of September 2005, the Halilović before the end of October 2005, the Orić and Limaj cases before the end of November 2005 and the Krajišnik case before the end of April 2006.”


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