Six to Replace Judges Whose Term Expire May 1999, Three Others Will Begin Duties Without Delay on Newly Established Third Trial Chamber
The General Assembly of the United Nations elected nine judges to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in five rounds of voting yesterday, 3 November 1998. Elected to the Tribunal were Pavel Dolenc (Slovenia), Mehmet Güney (Turkey), Laïty Kama (Senegal), Dionysios Kondylis (Greece), Erik Mose (Norway), Yakov Ostrovsky (Russian Federation), Navanethem Pillay (South Africa), William Sekule (United Republic of Tanzania) and Lloyd George Williams (Jamaica and Saint Kitts and Nevis).
The nine newly elected judges shall serve a term of office of four years to end on 24 May 2003. Six of them will replace the judges of the two acting Trial Chambers of the Tribunal, whose term of office expires on 24 May 1999. Their four-year term is to commence on 25 May 1999. Three others are to perform their duties in the third Trial Chamber, which was established by the Security Council this year to try, without delay, the large number of accused currently awaiting trial. As an exceptional measure taken to expedite the Tribunal's work, the three judges elected to the third Trial Chamber will be designated by the Secretary-General, in consultation with the President of the Tribunal, to commence work as soon as possible.
The judges were elected from a list of 18 candidates earlier established by the Security Council, taking into account the adequate representation of the principal legal systems of the world. Other candidates for election were: Eugenie Liliane Arivony (Madagascar), Salifou Fomba (Mali), Willy C. Gaa (Philippines), Asoka de Z. Gunawardena (Sri Lanka), Aka Edoukou Jean-Baptiste Kablan (Côte d'lvoire), Bouba Mahamane (Niger), Cheick Dimkinsedo Ouédraogo (Burkina Faso), Indira Rana (Nepal) and Tilahun Teshome (Ethiopia).
The Tribunal was established by the Security Council on 8 November 1994 to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda between 1 January and 31 December 1994. Located in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, the Tribunal is now composed of three Trial Chambers, an Appeals Chamber, a Prosecutor and a Registry.
Each of the judges was elected by an absolute majority of the General Assembly. An "absolute majority" in the practice of the United Nations is interpreted as a majority of all the 185 Member States and two non-member observer States (The Holy See and Switzerland). Accordingly, 94 votes were an absolute majority for the purpose of this election.
After the first round of balloting in which 172 Member States cast ballots, eight candidates obtained the absolute majority and were elected with the following votes: Pave! Dolenc (Slovenia) 102 votes, Mehmet Güney (Turkey) 109, Laïty Kama (Senegal) 125, Dionysios Kondylis (Greece) 112, Erik Mose (Norway) 97, Yakov Ostrovsky (Russian Federation) 98, Navanethem Pillay (South Africa) 129, and William Sekule (United Republic of Tanzania) 100. Following four more rounds of voting for the ninth judgeship position, Lloyd George Williams (Jamaica and Saint Kitts and Nevis) obtained an absolute majority of 119 votes and was thus elected.