… The Tribunal has “stuffing crisis”!!!

The Tribunal’s President, Judge Patrick Robinson, today addressed the United Nations Security Council on the work of the Tribunal. He described the challenges and achievements made in the implementation strategy. He, in particular highlighted the recent arrest of Ratko Mladić as ‘a milestone in the Tribunal’s history’.
“The Tribunal faced unprecedented challenges, but also achieved unprecedented advancement in the implementation of its completion strategy,” President Robinson said.

During the reporting period, nine trials were conducted concurrently thanks to the “doubling-up [of] Judges and staff so that they were working on more than one case at a time”. Perišič trial is anticipated to be completed this year, whilie the Đorðević trial and the Gotovina et al. trial were brought to a close. Six other trials are anticipated to conclude in 2012, and the Karadžić trial should be completed sometime in 2014.
“The Tribunal continues to take all measures possible to expedite its trials without sacrificing due process”, President Robinson said.

ICTY President Judge Patrick Robinson

He also explained that “staffing crisis” in the Appeals Chamber, with staff diverted to the Trial Chambers, has led to revisions in the estimated times for the completion of all appeal proceedings.
The President highlighted staff attrition as one of three areas in which the Tribunal needs the support of the  Security Council. He described the staffing problem as “chronic, systemic and endemic” and urged Member States to support meaningful steps to address this issue.

“The Security Council, the Tribunal’s parent body, must heed the call for action. We need your influence and support if we are to complete the work with which you have tasked us. And I must be blunt: if something is not done to alleviate the staffing crisis, the Tribunal will be forever reporting slippages in its work schedule,” the President said.

The President indicated the establishment of a trust fund for victims underlining that they have a right to compensation under international law for the crimes committed against them. He called upon the Security Council to support these initiatives, stressing that they would be funded by voluntary contributions. He stated that ‘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 reparations to the victims for their suffering’.

The President then highlighted that up to 40 additional sentences may have to be enforced over the next few years, and that the Tribunal’s current enforcement capacity is rapidly approaching its limit. The President called on Member States to enter into enforcement agreements with the Tribunal in order to ensure that the enforcement of sentences, an “integral part of the criminal justice system”, can be secured and the Tribunal’s mission completed.

Since its inception 18 years ago, the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The proceedings against 126 individuals have been completed. Only one indictee, Goran Hadžić remains at large.

President Robinson’s Address before the Security Council ( click to see full ICTY report here)


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