Judge Antonio Cassese, First President of the International Tribunal, will Leave in early 2000.
On 6 September 1999, Judge Antonio Cassese advised the President and his fellow colleagues of his decision to resign from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in order to resume his academic activities at Florence University.
Judge Cassese’s resignation will be effective on 1 February 2000, or as soon as the Kupreskic & others trial, which he is currently presiding over, is completed.
The President of the ICTY, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, has accordingly informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations in order for him to appoint a Judge to serve the remainder of Judge Cassese’s term of office until 17 November 2001.
In her letter to the Secretary-General, President McDonald points out that Judge Cassese was “the Tribunal’s first President and has rendered distinguished service and critical leadership, both as President and as Judge”. She also notes that “the United Nations has been most fortunate to have the benefit of Judge Cassese’s extensive knowledge of international humanitarian law”. She concludes: “He will be sorely missed”.
A GROUNDBREAKING PRESENCE
Elected as the Tribunal’s first President in November 1993, Judge Antonio Cassese was re-elected for a second two-year term of office in November 1995. Following his succession by President Gabrielle Kirk McDonald in November 1997, Judge Cassese was elected Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II, one of the three Trial Chambers comprising the ICTY.
In his six years at the ICTY, Judge Antonio Cassese has contributed to all the landmark Judgements rendered by the Appeals Chamber, either as Presiding Judge or as Judge: Decision on the Defence Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction (Tadic case, 2 October 1995), Judgement (Erdemovic case, 7 October 1997), Decision on the Request of the Republic of Croatia for Review of the Decision of Trial Chamber II of 18 July 1997 (“subpoena issue”, Blaskic case, 29 October 1997) and Judgement (Tadic case, 15 July 1999).
As a Trial Chamber Judge, either as Presiding Judge or as member, Judge Antonio Cassese has participated in numerous decisions, including the Judgement in the Furundzija case (10 December 1998). His expectation is that the judgement in the Kupreskic & others case, currently on trial, will be delivered “towards the end of January 2000”.