|International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia
The Tribunal building in The Hague
|Established||25 May 1993|
|Jurisdiction||War crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Yugoslav Wars between 1991-1995|
|Location||The Hague, the Netherlands|
|Authorized by||United Nations Security Council Resolution 827|
|Judge term length||Four years|
|Number of positions||16 permanent
12 ad litem
|Currently||Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica)|
|Since||17 November 2008|
|Jurist term ends||2010|
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a body of the United Nations established to prosecute serious crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and to try their perpetrators. The tribunal is an ad hoc court which is located in The Hague, the Netherlands.
The Court was established by Resolution 827 of the United Nations Security Council, which was passed on 25 May 1993. It has jurisdiction over four clusters of crime committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991: grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, genocide, and crime against humanity. The maximum sentence it can impose is life imprisonment. Various countries have signed agreements with the UN to carry out custodial sentences. The last indictment was issued 15 March 2004. The Tribunal aims to complete all trials by the middle of 2011, except for the trial of Radovan Karadžić, which is expected to end in 2012 and all appeals by 2013, except Radovan Karadžić which is expected to be heard by February 2014.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia should not be confused with the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice; both courts are also based in The Hague, but have a permanent status and different jurisdictions.
The Tribunal employs around 1,200 staff. Its organisational components are Chambers, Registry and the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP).
Chambers encompasses the judges and their aides. The Tribunal operates three Trial Chambers and one Appeals Chamber. The President of the Tribunal is also the presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber. Currently, this is Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica (since 2008). His predecessors were Antonio Cassese of Italy (1993–1997), Gabrielle Kirk McDonald of the United States (1997–1999), Claude Jorda of France (1999–2002), Theodor Meron of the United States (2002–2005), Fausto Pocar of Italy (2005-2008).
The Registry is responsible for handling the administration of the Tribunal; activities include keeping court records, translating court documents, transporting and accommodating those who appear to testify, operating the Public Information Section, and such general duties as payroll administration, personnel management and procurement. It is also responsible for the Detention Unit for indictees being held during their trial and the Legal Aid program for indictees who cannot pay for their own defence. It is headed by the Registrar, currently John Hocking of Australia (since May 2009). His predecessors were Hans Holthuis of the Netherlands (2001–2009), Dorothée de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh of the Netherlands (1995–2000), and Theo van Boven of the Netherlands (February 1994 to December 1994).
The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is responsible for investigating crimes, gathering evidence and prosecuting indictees. It is headed by the Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz. Previous Prosecutors have been Ramón Escovar Salom of Venezuela (1993–1994), Richard Goldstone of South Africa (1994–1996), Louise Arbour of Canada (1996–1999), Eric Östberg of Sweden, and Carla Del Ponte of Switzerland (1999–2007), who until 2003, simultaneously served as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda where she led the OTP since 1999.
There are 16 permanent judges and 12 ad litem judges who serve on the tribunal. They are elected to four-year terms by the UN General Assembly. They can be re-elected.
On 17 November 2008, Judge Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica) was elected as the new President of the ICTY by the permanent judges in an Extraordinary Plenary Session. Judge O-Gon Kwon (South Korea) was elected as the new Vice-President.
|Patrick Lipton Robinson||Jamaica||President||1998||2010|
|Carmel A. Agius||Malta||Presiding Judge||2001||2007|
|Alphonsus Martinus Maria Orie||Netherlands||Presiding Judge||2001||2007|
|Theodor Meron||United States||Judge||2001||2007|
|O-Gon Kwon||South Korea||Vice-President||2001||2007|
|Howard Morrison CBE||United Kingdom||Judge||2009||2012|
|Christine Van Den Wyngaert||Belgium||Judge||2003||2009|
|Bakone Justice Moloto||South Africa||Judge||2005||2011|
|Krister Thelin||Sweden||Ad Litem Judge||2003||2009|
|Janet M. Nosworthy||Jamaica||Ad Litem Judge||2005||2011|
|Frank Hoepfel||Austria||Ad Litem Judge||2005||2011|
|Árpád Prandler||Hungary||Ad Litem Judge||2006||2012|
|Stefan Trechsel||Switzerland||Ad Litem Judge||2006||2012|
|Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua||Congo||Ad Litem Judge||2006||2012|
|Ali Nawaz Chowhan||Pakistan||Ad Litem Judge||2006||2012|
|Tsvetana Kamenova||Bulgaria||Ad Litem Judge||2006||2012|
|Kimberly Prost||Canada||Ad Litem Judge||2006||2012|
|Ole Bjørn Støle||Norway||Ad Litem Judge||2006||2012|
|Frederik Harhoff||Denmark||Ad Litem Judge||2007||2013|
|Flavia Lattanzi||Italy||Ad Litem Judge||2007||2013|
List of judges provided on Organs of the Tribunal at: http://www.icty.org/sid/151
Those defendants on trial and those who were denied a provisional release are detained at the United Nations Detention Unit on the premises of the Penitentiary Institution Haaglanden, location Scheveningen, located some 3 km by road from the courthouse.
The indicted are housed in private cells which have a toilet, shower, radio, satellite TV, personal computer (without Internet access) and other comforts. They are allowed to phone family and friends daily and can have conjugal visits. There is also a library, a gym and various rooms used for religious observances. The inmates are allowed to cook for themselves. All of the inmates mix freely and are not segregated on the basis of nationality; Serbian and Bosnian Muslim detainees (once mortal enemies) now reportedly share friendly chess and backgammon games and watch film screenings. As the cells are more akin to a university residence instead of a jail, some has derisively referred to the ICT as the “Hague Hilton”.
In 2004, the ICTY published a list of five successes which it claimed it had accomplished:
For more information see: ICTY at a glance
Since the very first hearing (referral request in the Tadić case) on 8 November, 1994, the Tribunal has indicted a total of 161 individuals, and has already completed proceedings with regard to 100 of them: five have been acquitted, 48 sentenced (seven are awaiting transfer, 24 have been transferred, 16 have served their term, and one died while serving his sentence), 11 have had their cases transferred to local courts. Another 36 cases have been terminated (either because indictments were withdrawn or because the accused died, before or after transfer to the Tribunal).
As of November 2008, there were eight ongoing trials and a further four cases in the pre-trial stage. Ten further cases are at the appeals stage and two accused, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić, are still at large.
The accused currently at the appeals stage include Sefer Halilović, Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu (who have been acquitted and released but against whom an appeal by the Office of the Prosecutor is running), as well as Amir Kubura and Naser Orić. These two accused have been sentenced and granted early release (Kubura) and release (Orić), but the OTP has appealed against the Trial Chamber's Judgements.
A further 19 individuals have also been the subject of contempt proceedings.
The indictees ranged from common soldiers to generals and police commanders all the way to Prime Ministers. Slobodan Milošević was the first sitting head of state indicted for war crimes. Other "high level" indictees included Milan Babić, President of the Republika Srpska Krajina; Ramush Haradinaj, former Prime Minister of Kosovo; Radovan Karadžić, former President of the Republika Srpska; Ratko Mladić, former Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army and Ante Gotovina, former General of the Croatian Army.
On 3 April 2008, ICTY issued a public notice of the Haradinaj verdict, in which he was acquitted of all charges. The judge said much of the evidence had been non-existent against Mr. Haradinaj or at best inconclusive.  But he also complained of witness intimidation, saying some witnesses had not testified because they had been afraid. .
On 31 July 2008, Karadžić appeared in front of the judges of the tribunal.
Criticisms levelled against the court include:
Some of the defendants, such as Slobodan Milošević, claimed that the Court has no legal authority because it was established by the UN Security Council instead of the UN General Assembly, therefore it had not been created on a broad international basis. The Tribunal was established on the basis of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter; the relevant portion of which reads "the Security Council can take measures to maintain or restore international peace and security". The legal criticism has been succinctly stated in a Memorandum issued by Austrian Professor Hans Köchler, which was submitted to the President of the Security Council in 1999. British Conservative Party MEP Daniel Hannan has called for the court to be abolished, claiming that it is anti-democratic and a violation of national sovereignty.