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The Judges of the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia express their concern regarding the substance of their programme of judicial work for 1995.

Press Release TRIBUNAL

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

La Haye, 1 February 1995

The Judges of the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia express their concern
regarding the substance of their programme of judicial work for 1995.

On Monday 30 January 1995, the Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have concluded their Fifth Plenary Session, which commenced on Monday 16 January, by unanimously adopting the following final declaration:

"At the end of the session, the Judges of the Tribunal noted that they had completed everything they were called upon to do in order for the Tribunal to fulfil its mission: organizing and laying down the necessary infrastructure and adopting all the legal instruments appropriate for holding trials (the Tribunal's first hearing indeed took place on 8 November, 1994).

Nevertheless, before adjourning the Judges wished to express their concern about the urgency with which appropriate indictments should be issued.

It should be recalled that the Security Council, in establishing the International Tribunal by Resolutions 808 and 827, intended expressly to entrust it with the historic mission of bringing to trial those responsible for "mass killings", "organized and systematic detention and rape of women", and the practice of 'ethnic cleansing' in the territory of the former Yugoslavia in order thereby to "contribute to the restoration and maintenance of peace".

Due to the gravity and historic dimension of that mission, the Judges are anxious that a programme of indictments should effectively meet the expectations of the Security Council and of the world community at large.

The Prosecutor was informed of the concern of the Judges, and he indicated that he shares that concern. He undertook to apply the resources that have now been made available by the United Nations and by those Member States which have generously contributed to the Trust Fund, in order to issue appropriate indictments at the earliest possible time".


Furthermore, the Judges also revised the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal.

Since the publication of its Rules in February 1994, the Tribunal had received several suggestions for modifications, proposed from various sources (some Judges, the Prosecutor, States, lawyers and non-governmental organizations).

These proposals have been considered by an Inter-session Working Group, chaired by Judge Deschênes, which was set up at the Fourth plenary sessional in July 1994 and which submitted its conclusions at the Fifth plenary session in January 1995.

The amendments, which affect 42 Rules in total and include one new Rule, can be listed in two main categories: amendments which improve the efficiency of the Tribunal, and amendments which improve the legal guarantees of all parties (victims, witnesses, accused, prosecutor).

The entire text of these amendments are available in both working languages of the Tribunal.


The Judges warmly welcomed the appointment of Mrs. Dorothee de Sampayo as the new Registrar of the Tribunal.

They appreciated the fact that Mrs. de Sampayo attended most of the Fifth plenary session, while carrying on her duties as Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of The Hague.

Mrs. de Sampayo takes up her office as Registrar of the International Tribunal as of 1 February 1995.


International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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