Judge Carmel Agius (Malta) and Judge Liu Daqun (China) were elected by acclamation as President and Vice-President of the Tribunal by the permanent judges in an Extraordinary Plenary Session today, 21 October 2015. Judge Agius and Judge Liu will succeed President Meron and Vice-President Agius and will serve for a two year term starting November 17, 2015. Biographical notes of Judge Agius and Judge Liu follow.
Judge Carmel Agius
Judge Carmel Agius is currently the Tribunal’s Vice-President and has served in this role since 2011. He is also an Appeals Chamber judge of both the Tribunal and the ICTR. He was first elected to the Tribunal in 2001 and re-elected in 2004. Between 2003 and 2010, he was Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II of the Tribunal during which time he presided over the Brđanin, the Orić and the multi-accused Popović trials. He was also engaged in the initial appearance and pre-trial preparation and disposal of several other cases.
Since 2010, he has been dealing with appeals from both the Tribunal and the ICTR. Presently, he is presiding over multiple appeal matters. Since 2003 he has chaired the Rules Committee of the Tribunal and has served as a member of the Tribunal’s Bureau. In 2010 and 2011, on behalf of the Tribunal he has coordinated and brought to a conclusion the drafting of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals which were submitted to and accepted by the UN Security Council, and later adopted by the judges of the Mechanism. In 2011 he was elected a Judge of the Mechanism.
Prior to being elected to the Tribunal, Judge Agius was a Senior Judge in the Court of Appeal of Malta and the Constitutional Court of Malta, and was Acting Chief Justice on several occasions. Between 1999 and 2008, Judge Agius was a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. From 1990 and 2001, he was Head of Maltese Delegation at all annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna. He also represented the Maltese Government at the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th United Nations Congresses on Crime Prevention and the Treatment of Offenders.
Between 1996 and 1998, Judge Agius represented the Government of Malta at the meetings of the United Nations Preparatory Committee on the proposed Permanent International Criminal Court. In 1998, he was Acting Head of Delegation and Adviser of the Government of Malta at the United Nations Plenipotentiary Conference on the International Criminal Court, Rome where he was actively involved in the negotiations and signed the Final Document on behalf of Malta. Later, he represented his country during the work of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court which drew up the Rules of Evidence and Procedure and the Definitions of Crimes for the ICC.
From 1996 to 1999, he was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Malta, and between 1998 and 2004, he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights published by the Foundation for International Studies and the Faculty of Law of the University of Malta. Between 1989 and 2001, Judge Agius was the representative of the Maltese Judiciary on the Central Council of the International Association of Judges.
Judge Liu Daqun
Judge Liu Daqun is a judge in the Appeals Chamber for both the ICTY and ICTR and for the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. He was appointed as an ICTY judge by the United Nations Secretary General in 2000 and re-elected by the General Assembly in 2001 and 2004. From 2001 until 2005, Judge Liu was the Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber I presiding over the Naletilić and Martinović, Blagojević and Jokić, and Halilović cases, amongst others. He is also a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the Institute de Droit International.
Since 2005, Judge Liu has worked on appeals from both the Tribunal and the ICTR where he presided over the Šainović et al case before the ICTY and Gatete case before the ICTR. Judge Liu is a member of the Appeals Chamber in all three current ICTY Appeals cases (Stanišić and Simatović, Stanišić and Župljanin and Prlić et al)
Prior to being elected to the Tribunal, Judge Liu held a variety of positions in the Chinese Foreign Ministry, culminating in his appointment in 1999 as Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica and as Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the International Seabed Authority. Judge Liu was also Deputy Head and Chief Negotiator of the Chinese Delegation to the Rome Conference on the establishment of the International Criminal Court.
Judge Liu has enjoyed a distinguished academic career. In 1994 he was appointed a Professor of International Law at China’s University of Law and Political Science and a Professor at the Centre of Cooperative Innovation and Judicial Civilization of that University in 2013. He regularly lectures across China and internationally on international criminal law. Amongst others, Judge Liu holds positions at the Law School of Wuhan University (since 1997) and China Foreign Affairs University (since 1998).