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Statement of the President of the Tribunal - Judge Patrick Robinson

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

The Hague, 17 November 2008

Statement of the President of the Tribunal - Judge Patrick Robinson

It is an honour to be appointed as the sixth President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Fully aware that this is a key stage of the Tribunal’s life, I look forward to bringing this institution closer to the successful completion of its mandate.

Having served as a judge at the Tribunal for a decade, its many achievements - but also key challenges ahead - are well known to me. This is an exceptionally busy time for the Tribunal with the largest number of accused on trial ever, six trials running simultaneously and a seventh case due to commence shortly.

While the Tribunal is close to completing its mandate, the continued evasion from arrest by the remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladiæ and Goran Hadžiæ, does cast a shadow over the Tribunal’s achievements. As President of the Tribunal, I will continue to insist that the Tribunal must not close its doors before trying these fugitives who fall within the category of the most senior persons accused.

The Tribunal has set the course of international justice on an irreversible path forward and has played a pioneering role in the development of international substantive and procedural humanitarian law.

The Tribunal has also assisted in entrenching the rule of law in the states of the former Yugoslavia. Recognising that its role was to take up the work that local judiciaries were unable to do at the time of its establishment, the Tribunal has expended much energy in building partnerships with the judiciary in the region. This cooperation must continue and intensify as the Tribunal nears the completion of its mandate.

I am confident the Tribunal will successfully complete its work in the near future, and I hope that under my leadership the international community will continue to provide the strong support it has provided in the past.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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