President Meron’s address before the United Nations General Assembly
ICTY President Judge Theodor Meron
President Theodor Meron today presented the Tribunal’s twentieth annual report to the UN General Assembly. President Meron reported on measures taken to implement the Tribunal’s Completion Strategy and to effect the institution’s orderly and efficient closure.
Presenting the Member States with an update on the progress made in judicial proceedings, the President underscored that the Tribunal has ‘rendered more judgements in the year ending 1 August 2013 than in almost any previous reporting period.’ He noted that five Trial Chamber judgements had been delivered, along with three Appeals Chamber judgements, a judgement on appeal from an acquittal pursuant to Rule 98 bis of the ICTY’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence and four judgements in contempt cases. President Meron added that four cases are currently at trial and seven cases are pending an appeal. He went on to note that any appeals in the Mladić, Karadžić, Hadžić and Šešelj cases, which are currently at trial, will fall under the jurisdiction of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT).
The President noted that work on the seven remaining appeals cases is anticipated to be completed in all but one case by early 2015. He added that appeal judgements in the Đorđević case and in the multi-accused Šainović et al. case are expected by the end of this year and a further four appeal judgements are expected by early 2015. The one remaining appeals case, that of Prlić et al., involving six accused, is forecast to be completed by mid-2017.
Turning to the implementation of the Completion Strategy and the handing over of relevant responsibilities to the Mechanism, President Meron explained that steps were being taken to ensure that the Tribunal’s closure would be fast and efficient without affecting the institution’s abilities to fulfil its responsibilities and mandate. The President underscored that such steps ‘will be undertaken while complying with fundamental principles of due process and fairness.’
President Meron expressed his gratitude that ‘despite the many challenges they face, staff members continue to carry out their responsibilities with dedication and care, making it possible for the ICTY to fulfil the mandate with which it has been entrusted.’
In closing, the President emphasised that as the Tribunal completes its remaining work, it ‘will leave behind it a world transformed: a world in which—thanks to the new Mechanism and to the commitment and perseverance of members of the international community on matters of international justice—expectations of principled accountability for those who stand accused of atrocities will remain the norm, and the rule of law will continue to prevail.’