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UN extends terms for ICTY and ICTR judges until cases completed

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] on Tuesday extended the terms for judges from the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR) [official websites] until December 31, 2010, or until they complete their cases. In unanimously adopting resolutions 1877 and 1878 [press releases], the Security Council extended the terms for 30 permanent and ad litem ICTY judges and 17 ICTR judges. Additionally, the Council decided that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] would be able to appoint additional ad litem judges for existing or new trials. The passage of the resolutions follows briefings last week [press release] by tribunal officials who supported the term extensions. Appellate judges previously had their terms extended to the end of 2010, although the Council decided to review those extensions prior to the end of 2009. The extensions were welcomed by the ICTY [press release].

The tribunals, created by the UN in 1993 and 1994, have been planning to close after completing their caseloads. ICTR President Dennis Byron supported the extensions, affirming that the court is trying to conclude the evidence phase of all trials by the end of the year. ICTY President and presiding appellate judge Patrick Robinson [official profile] has stated that most of the work in both the ICTY and ICTR would be completed by the end of 2012 [JURIST report], earlier than the tribunals' previous estimate of 2015. The trial for Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] is set to be the ICTY's last, starting in late August with an estimated end date of early 2012.

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