Legacy website of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Since the ICTY’s closure on 31 December 2017, the Mechanism maintains this website as part of its mission to preserve and promote the legacy of the UN International Criminal Tribunals.

 Visit the Mechanism's website.

President Robinson’s Address Before the Security Council

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

The Hague, 18 June 2010

President Robinson’s Address Before the Security Council


The Tribunal’s President, Judge Patrick Robinson, today delivered his fourth Completion Strategy report to the United Nations Security Council in which he highlighted the adverse impact that the alarming rate of staff attrition has had on the expeditious completion of the trials. He also reiterated his call for the creation of a trust fund for victims of war crimes.

The President informed the Security Council that “the Tribunal has continued to work as efficiently and expeditiously as possible in accordance with the highest standards of international due process.” All trials pending on the Tribunal’s docket have commenced, and proceedings in ten trials have been conducted simultaneously in the Tribunal’s three courtrooms.

The President stressed that the trial schedule produced by the Tribunal is tentative and subject to change depending on the course a trial takes. Significant slippage has occurred in the trial schedule due to a number of reasons, the most significant being the alarming rate of staff attrition.

The President spoke of the desperate need for urgent action to be taken to address this issue:  “I can only repeat my warning that a failure to take action immediately on the rate of staff attrition at the Tribunal will have profound effects on the ability of the Tribunal to complete its mandate as expeditiously as possible. The situation will worsen.”

The President urged the Security Council to support the Tribunal so that it can complete its mandate and presented a number of measures to remedy the issue, including the granting of permanent contracts to the Tribunal’s staff and the enforcement of the General Assembly Resolution of December 2008, which authorises the Tribunal to offer contracts to staff in-line with planned post reductions and the prevailing trial schedules. 

The President also requested that the Judges be granted mandates in-line with the latest estimates on the completion dates of the trials. The President asked that the mandates be extended up to 2013 for those Judges whose trials and appeals will be ongoing at that time and up to 2014 for the remaining Appeals Judges.

“[T]o be successful, the Tribunal needs strong political support.  I urge the Security Council to take measures now and to ensure that action is taken on these issues,” he said.

The President reiterated his call for the creation without further delay of a trust fund for victims of crimes falling within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. He stated, “In order to contribute to a lasting peace in the former Yugoslavia, justice must not only be retributive—it must also be restorative.”

The President said: “The International Criminal Court and the 111 States that have ratified the Rome Statute accept the importance of compensation to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide—and the United Nations must do the same.” He added that the trust fund would “complement the Tribunal’s criminal trials by providing victims with the necessary resources to rebuild their lives.”

In closing, the President again urged the Security Council to actively work on meaningful staff retention measures as a matter of urgency, stressing that failing to do so would lengthen the life of the Tribunal: “We need more support from our parent organ…. We are hanging by a thread, and we need you to throw us a lifeline,” President Robinson said.

Every six months, the President and Prosecutor submit to the Security Council their assessments on the progress made towards implementation of the completion strategy of the Tribunal in accordance with Resolution 1534. The reports set out the measures that have been taken and that remain to be taken in order to complete the work of the Tribunal, including the transfer of cases to competent national jurisdictions.

The latest completion strategy report estimates that all first instance trials will be completed by mid-2012, with the exception of that of Radovan Karadžić, which is expected to finish in late 2012. Most appellate work is scheduled to be completed by early 2014.

Additionally, the President submits an Annual Report to the UN Security Council and General Assembly. The Annual Report, usually submitted in November, covers the 12-month period of 1 August - 31 July and includes an overview of activities involving all sections of the Tribunal.

Since its inception 17 years ago, the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The proceedings against 123 individuals have been completed. Only two indictees remain at large – Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić.


The full text of the President's speech can be found at:

In English

In French

The latest Completion Strategy Report of the President can be found at:
In English

In French

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

For more information, please contact our Media Office in The Hague
Tel.: +31-70-512-8752; 512-5343; 512-5356 Fax: +31-70-512-5355 - Email: press [at] icty.org