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President Pocar's address before the Security Council



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

The Hague, 11 December 2007

FP/ 1203e

In his 10 December 2007 statement to the UN Security Council on the presentation of the Tribunal's eighth completion strategy report, President Fausto Pocar highlighted further increases made in the efficiency of the Tribunal's work during the reporting period. He also called for the Security Council to renew its support for the Tribunal's mission and to the successful
completion of its work.

President Pocar noted that the Tribunal had increased its efficiency, surpassing any reasonable expectation. Current figures show that out of the 161 accused indicted by the Tribunal, trial and appeal proceedings against 111 accused have been completed, leaving 50 accused whose cases must still be completed, including four fugitives, eight accused with pending appeals, 27
whose trial has started and 11 currently in the pre-trial stage. The three Trial Chambers were in fact able to increase their workload, with eight cases currently being handled in trial phase. The President added that the Appeals Chamber's productivity had been incomparable, having rendered 235 written decisions and 15 Judgements, including four review or referral appeals within
2007. The President indicated that such efficiency was partly attributable to the implementation of the various measures adopted to speed up trial and appellate proceedings and to additional amendments to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence, made more recently to further streamline trial and appeals procedures.

In summary, the President noted that there remained only 11 accused in seven cases awaiting trial before the Tribunal and that this net increase of two accused was due to the arrest of two fugitives, Zdravko Tolimir and Vlastimir Đorđević and the Appeals Chamber's decision to reverse the referral of Milan Lukić under Rule 11bis, which led to the decision to retain his
co-accused Sredoje Lukić. The President indicated that the trials of the two recently arrived accused were estimated to finish in early 2010 but that all appeals could still be concluded within 2011.

The President emphasized that the Tribunal's unprecedented efficiency could not have been achieved without the full dedication of all of the Judges and staff. The President stressed the importance of retaining the Tribunal's Judges in order to meet completion strategy goals, and cautioned that if the question of the Judges' pensions was not favourably resolved, some of the
most experienced Judges would be compelled to leave the Tribunal to secure pension entitlements in their national jurisdictions. By the same token, the President urged the Security Council and Member States to support the Tribunal in its efforts to offer sufficient incentives to guarantee, as much as possible, that its best staff remain until the work of the Tribunal is

Turning to the Tribunal's partnership with domestic courts, President Pocar reported that the referral procedure had had a substantial impact on the Tribunal's workload and insisted on the importance of the international community's continued support to the capacity-building of judicial institutions in the region of the former Yugoslavia. The President also indicated that
direct cooperation between the Tribunal and domestic courts had been further reinforced through the recent amendment of Rule 75 of the Tribunal's Rules, which allows judicial authorities in other jurisdictions, or parties duly authorized by an appropriate judicial authority, to petition the Tribunal directly for access to confidential material.

The President then addressed the question of State cooperation, noting that while the recent arrest of two fugitives was a welcome development, there was still great concern at the failure to secure the arrest and transfer of the four remaining fugitives, namely, Radovan Karadžić, Ratko Mladić, Stojan Župljanin and Goran Hadžić.

Updating the Security Council on the Tribunal's residual mechanisms, President Pocar noted that the Tribunal and the ICTR had submitted a final report on this question to the Office of Legal Affairs in September 2007 and that discussion with the Security Council Working Group on the ad hoc Tribunals was continuing.

The President finally underscored that the Tribunal's commitment had remained steadfast and that the slippage in previously projected completion strategy dates had occurred for reasons out of the Tribunal's control, that is, the late arrest of the two fugitives recently transferred to the Tribunal. In this respect, the President recalled that he had already urged the Security
Council on several occasions to take action to arrest immediately the remaining fugitives and had warned at the time that any delays would seriously undermine the Tribunal's ability to meet Completion Strategy dates. With a view to limit to the greatest extent possible the impact of late arrests on projected deadlines, and to maintain the same level of productivity during most
of 2008 and 2009, the President presented two possible approaches to the Security Council. The first option would be to extend the statutory term of service of current ad litem Judges. Alternatively, the President suggested the appointment of additional ad litem Judges, thus temporarily increasing their number above twelve.

In conclusion, the President emphasized that the Tribunal had clearly demonstrated that justice could be efficient without sacrificing due process standards and called on the Security Council to renew its support for the Tribunal's mission and to the successful completion of its work.

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



The full report of the Completion Strategy Assessment can be found on the Tribunal's website at:

In English:

In French: