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The activity of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for 2010-2011

The Report of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for the period from 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011 was presented before the Security Council on 6 June 2011 by the President of the ICTY, Judge Robinson. The report includes an introductory section, followed by sections focusing respectively on the activity involving the entire Tribunal, the activity of the Chambers, the activity of the Office of the Prosecutor, and the activity of the Registry. For the full report see here.

In his speech Judge Robinson asked the assistance of the Security Council in addressing three problematic areas for the Tribunal, namely staff retention, the establishment of a victims’ trust fund, and the enforcement of our sentences. With regard to the first area Judge Robinson noted that the most serious challenge to the completion of the work of the Tribunal is the perpetual departure of uniquely experienced staff for more secure employment elsewhere. The second area where Judge Robinson asked for the support of the Security Council involves the establishment of a victims’ trust fund. As Judge Robinson rightly stated:

The Tribunal cannot, through the rendering of its Judgements alone, bring peace and reconciliation to the region. Other remedies should complement the criminal trials if lasting peace is to be achieved, and one such remedy should be adequate assistance to the victims for their suffering. I would like to call upon the Security Council to lend its support to those initiatives.

The third area where Judge Robinson asked for the support of the Member States of the Security Council was the enforcement of its sentences. The Tribunal has signed enforcement of sentence agreements with 17 States, most of which have been enforcing its sentences for years. However, as Judge Robinson pointed out, considering that up to 40 additional sentences may have to be enforced over the next few years, depending upon the outcome of trials and appeals, it has become evident that the Tribunal’s current enforcement capacity is rapidly approaching its limit.

For the full text of Judge Robinson’s speech see here.

The current President of the ICTY, Judge Meron, addressed the Security Council on 8 December 2011 with regard to the 2011 Completion Strategy Report. Judge Meron serves for the second time as President of the ICTY. In his speech he praised the work of its two predecessors, Judges Robinson and Pocar, whose outstanding efforts, he said, have greatly strengthened the Tribunal. Judge Meron explained the difficulties the Tribunal is encountering in completing its work and some of the steps that he intended to take in order to further increase the efficiency of the work of the Tribunal. At the end of his speech Judge Meron eloquently stated that:

Born in the darkness emanating from Yugoslavia’s breakup, the Tribunal faced particularly difficult challenges in its early years. While the Tribunal will soon cease to exist, it will leave a world transformed, and its legacy will be an indelible testament to the international community’s commitment to justice: the noblest of human ideals.

For the full speech of Judge Meron see here. For the 2011 Completion Strategy Report, covering the period from 15 May to 15 November 2011, see here.

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