Security Council agrees to increase number of judges at UN’s Balkans tribunal

20 February 2008 –

The Security Council today authorized Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint up to four extra judges to the United Nations tribunal set up after the Balkan wars of the 1990s to help that court better meet its target to try all defendants by the end of this year.

Council members unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the proposal of the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to appoint the extra ad litem, or temporary, judges on top of the 12 ad litem judges currently authorized.

This means up to 16 ad litem judges could serve on the ICTY at any time, although the number must not exceed 12 after 31 December this year. There are also 16 permanent judges on the court.

This temporary measure has been introduced to allow the ICTY “to conduct additional trials as soon as possible in order to meet completion strategy objectives,” the resolution stated.

Under the completion strategy for the Tribunal, which is based in The Hague, all trials at first instance are supposed to be completed by the end of this year and all appeals by 2010.

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