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Judge Vagn Joensen Re-Elected as President at Final ICTR Plenary Session

On 13 May 2015 the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda ("ICTR") held its 25th plenary session in The Hague, The Netherlands. In attendance were all ten remaining judges of the ICTR, representatives of the Prosecutor and Registrar, and staff from the Chambers and Registry. ICTR President Judge Vagn Joensen remarked during the session that this was expected to be the Tribunal's final plenary and he thanked the judges and staff of the ICTR for their remarkable and steadfast commitment to the mission of the ICTR throughout its over 20 years of operations.  With only one appeal remaining, The Prosecutor v. Nyiramasuhuko et. al., the ICTR's mandate will soon be completed.

The ICTR's final plenary session concluded with an amendment to the ICTR Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the re-election of the President. Following the adoption of an amendment to Rule 18 (B), Judge Joensen was re-elected by acclamation as President for a term expiring 31 December 2015, which coincides with the expected closure of the Tribunal and Judge Joensen's term of office as judge of the Tribunal as extended by UN Security Council Resolution 2194 (2014). The ICTR has already begun the transition of powers to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, created by UN Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010), which will continue the residual functions of the ICTR and its sister institution, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Judge Joensen joined the Tribunal in May 2007 as ad litem Judge and member of Trial Chamber III. Before joining the Tribunal, Judge Joensen was a judge at the Danish High Court, Eastern Division, in Copenhagen since 1994 and served as an international judge in Kosovo for UNMIK from 2001 to 2002.

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