ICTY President Judge Carmel Agius conducted an official visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) where he was awarded an honorary membership of the Association of Judges of the Court of BiH.
President Agius attended the Ceremonial Assembly of the Association of Judges of the Court of BiH, which is composed of present and former judges of the Court of BiH, including international judges. Accepting the Honorary Membership, President Agius spoke about the strength of an association of judges, the importance of accountability and international cooperation in judicial matters, and the necessity of speaking out on behalf of justice.
Acknowledging the heavy burden that the judges of the Court of BiH carry in a country still recovering from the tragic events of the 1990’s conflicts, and the difficult task ahead of them, President Agius stressed: “It is important that you present a united front to show that, individually and collectively, you are above politics and ethnicities and that your only interest is to administer justice”. President Agius finished his address by encouraging his BiH colleagues to speak out in the interests of justice when necessary, and reiterating that a “sound, strong, efficient and exemplary judiciary is essential”.
In addition to attending the Ceremonial Assembly, during his mission President Agius met with the High Representative for BiH, Mr Valentin Inzko, to discuss the Tribunal’s closure at the end of the year, the establishment of ICTY information centres in BiH, and the importance of ensuring that the ICTY’s legacy continues even after the Tribunal closes. President Agius further met with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms Pramila Patten. They discussed shared experiences in working with conflict-related sexual violence crimes, and President Agius updated Ms Patten on the Tribunal’s plans for its final three months of operations, including the delivery of judgments in the remaining trial and appeal cases.