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Five new Judges take oath on Monday 17 November 1997.

Press Release  

Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 12 November 1997
Five new Judges take oath on Monday 17 November 1997


On Monday 17 November 1997, five new Judges to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia will make a solemn declaration before taking up their duties. This short ceremony will herald the beginning of the second four-year term of the Tribunal’s first six sitting Judges.

The Judges to be sworn in are: Judge Richard George May (United Kingdom)
Judge Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba (Zambia)
Judge Rafael Nieto Navia (Colombia)
Judge Almiro Simoes Rodrigues (Portugal)
Judge Wang Tieya (China) They have been elected on Tuesday 20 May 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly. (see PR-197).

They will join the six sitting Judges to constitute an eleven member court.

• Five Judges have been re-elected on 20 May 1996 by the General Assembly for a new four-year term of office: Judge Antonio Cassese (Italy)
Judge Claude Jorda (France)
Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald (United States)
Judge Fouad Abdel-Moneim Riad (Egypt)
Judge Lal Chand Vohrah (Malaysia) • Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana) who also has been newly elected, has already joined the Tribunal to replace Judge Jules Deschenes who resigned for health reasons. In an Order dated 16 June 1997, President Cassese assigned Judge Shahabuddeen to Trial Chamber I sitting in the Blaskic trial.

On Wednesday 19 November the Judges will hold their first Plenary Session during which a new President and Vice-President will be elected. The outgoing President, Judge Antonio Cassese , cannot be re-elected under Rule 18 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence which provides that the President is elected for a term of two years renewable once. Judge Cassese has served as President since 1993.

The Judges will also agree upon the composition of the Chambers
Three Judges will be assigned to each of the two Trial Chambers, and five to the Appeals Chamber.


The solemn declaration ceremony will be held at the Tribunal’s seat at 10.30 a.m. and is expected to last about 30 minutes.

The ceremony will be conducted by H.E. Mr. Hans Corell, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Both the President of the ICTY, Judge Antonio Cassese, and the Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, Mrs. Winnie Sorgdrager, will address the Judges and the guests of the Tribunal.

The ceremony will be attended by H.E. Mrs. Elisabeth Guigou, Minister of Justice of France; H.E. Mr. Baskal Milo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania; H.E. Mr. Tedo Ninidze, Minister of Justice of Georgia; H.E. Mr. Jadranko Prlic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzgovina; H.E. Lord Charles Falconer QC, Solicitor General for England and Wales; and H.E. Mr. David Scheffer, United States’Ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues.


A photo and TV opportunity of the eleven Judges will take place between 9.30 and 9.45 a.m in the Tribunal’s lobby. Please contact the Press and Information Office before Friday, 14 November 1997 for accreditation.

All other Media representatives can follow the solemn declaration ceremony on the internal TV-circuit by in the Press Lobby of the ICTY. An Audio-visual feed will be provided. If you wish to be present at the Tribunal on Monday morning at 10 a.m. ,please contact the Press and Information Office.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

For more information, please contact our Media Office in The Hague
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