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Judge Theodor Meron and Judge Fausto Pocar Re-Elected as President and Vice-President Respectively

Press Release TRIBUNAL

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

The Hague, 17 November 2003
CT / PIS/ 799e

Judge Theodor Meron and Judge Fausto Pocar Re-Elected
as President and Vice-President Respectively

Today, Monday 17 November 2003, the permanent Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) held an Extraordinary Plenary Session at which they re-elected by acclamation Judge Theodor Meron (United States of America) as President of the Tribunal and Judge Fausto Pocar (Italy) as Vice-President.

A biographical note of President Meron and Vice-President Pocar is attached.


Since his election to the Tribunal by the U.N. General Assembly in March 2001, Judge Meron, a citizen of the United States, has served on the Appeals Chamber, which hears appeals from both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). A leading scholar of international humanitarian, human rights, and international criminal law, Judge Meron wrote some of the books and articles that helped build the legal foundations for international criminal tribunals. A Shakespeare enthusiast, he has also written articles and books on the laws of war and chivalry in Shakespeare’s historical plays.

Since 1977, Judge Meron has been a Professor of International Law and, since 1994, the holder of the Charles L. Denison Chair at New York University Law School. In 2000-2001, he served as Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State. Between 1991 and 1995 he was also Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and he has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard and at the University of California (Berkeley). He received his legal education at the Universities of Jerusalem, Harvard (where he received his doctorate), and Cambridge.

He was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law (1993-98) and is now an honorary editor. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Society of International Law, the French Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, and the Bar of the State of New York. He has served on the advisory committees or boards of several human rights organizations, including Americas Watch and the International League for Human Rights. In 1990, he served as a Public Member of the United States Delegation to the CSCE Conference on Human Dimensions in Copenhagen. In 1998, he served as a member of the United States Delegation to the Rome Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (ICC) and was involved in the drafting of the provisions on crimes, including crimes against humanity. He has also served on the preparatory commission for the establishment of the ICC, with particular responsibilities for the crime of aggression. He has served on several committees of experts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), including those on Internal Strife, on the Environment and Armed Conflicts, and on Direct Participation in Hostilities. He was also a member of the steering committee of ICRC experts on Customary Rules of International Humanitarian Law.

He has been a Carnegie Lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law, Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, Max Planck Institute Fellow (Heidelberg), Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He has lectured at many universities and at the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg). He leads the annual ICRC seminars for U.N. diplomats on international humanitarian law at NYU. He is a member of the Institute of International Law.

His books are: Investment Insurance in International Law (Oceana-Sijthoff 1976); The United Nations Secretariat (Lexington Books 1977); Human Rights in International Law (Oxford University Press 1984); Human Rights Law-Making in the United Nations (Oxford University Press 1986) (which was awarded the certificate of merit of the American Society of International Law); Human Rights in Internal Strife: Their International Protection (Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures, Grotius Publications 1987); Human Rights and Humanitarian Norms as Customary Law (Oxford University Press 1989); Henry’s Wars and Shakespeare’s Laws (Oxford University Press 1993); Bloody Constraint: War and Chivalry in Shakespeare (Oxford University Press 1998); and War Crimes Law Comes of Age: Essays (Oxford University Press 1998).

A frequent contributor to the American Journal of International Law and other legal journals, delivered the 2003 General Course of Public International Law at The Hague Academy of International Law on "International Law in the Age of Human Rights."



Appointed to the Tribunal on 1 February 2000, Fausto Pocar (Italy) was elected for a full four-year term of office on 14 March 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly. Initially assigned to Trial Chamber II, which on 22 February 2001 rendered the first-ever ICTY judgement on gender-related crimes in the Kunarac & al. case, he was assigned to the Appeals Chamber of both the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on 1 April 2000; in this capacity, he has participated in the adoption of the final judgements in several Yugoslavian and Rwandan cases, heard either at The Hague or in Arusha.

Born on 21 February 1939 in Milan (Italy), Fausto Pocar joined the ICTY in the wake of a bright academic career at the University of Milan. Prior to joining the ICTY, he was Professor of International Law at the Law Faculty after having served as the Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences (1981-1984) and as Vice-Rector and Member of the Management Board (1984-1997). Fausto Pocar also founded and directed the Postgraduate School of EC Law and Economics, and directed the Institutes of International Law. In addition, he was Professor of International Organisations Law at the Faculty of Public Relations of the Milan University and at the University of Parma Graduate School, Professor of EC Law at the John Hopkins Univeristy of the Bologna Center and Visiting Professor at the Institut Universitaire International (Luxembourg).

Judge Pocar has a long standing experience in United Nations activities, in particular in the field of human rights and humanitarian law. He has served for sixteen years (1984-2000) as a member of the Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has been its Chairman (1991-92) and Rapporteur on various topics (1989-90). Further, he was appointed Special Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for visits to Chechnya and the Russian Federation during the first conflict in 1995 and 1996.

Fausto Pocar also chaired the informal working group that drafted, within the Commission on Human Rights, the Declaration on the rights of people belonging to national or ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, which was adopted in 1992 by the General Assembly. Additionally, he has been the guest speaker in numerous workshops organised by the UN Geneva Centre for Human Rights in various countries.

Apart from being on various occasions Legal Adviser or Member of the Italian Delegation to the Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly (1984-1986, 1990-1994) and to the World Conference on Human Rights (1993), Fausto Pocar has also been for a decade the Italian delegate to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its Legal Subcommittee.

Judge Pocar is the author of numerous publications, including books and more than 100 articles in Italian and foreign periodicals, in international law, including human rights and humanitarian law, private international law and European Law. He has also lectured at the Hague Academy of International Law. A member of the « Institut de Droit International », where he is also the treasurer, and President since 2000 of the Italian-German Association of Jurists, Fausto Pocar is also a member of various other international law associations such as the Italian Society for International Law, the American Society of International Law, and the Société française de droit international.



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