The ICTY prepares for Mladic

As the procedure for Mladic’s extradition continues in Serbia and questions of his fitness for trial arise, the ICTY awaits his arrival eagerly.

First of all, the judges for the Trial Chamber have been assigned. Among them is Dutch Judge Alphonse Orie, which is interesting, given the Netherlands’ ambiguous role in Srebrenica. It is also ironic that a Dutch judge will be a part of accountability for what happened there, given that the a Dutch court decided in 2008 that the Netherlands were not responsible for what happened because they were under UN command, and that the UN itself could not be sued before a national court because of its immunity, thus removing all means of reparations for victims.

Second of all, the Court granted the Prosecutor’s request to amend the Mladic indictment, which he had filed… over a year ago! One could of course cynically think that the imminent arrival of Mladic explains the sudden interest for a request which has likely been buried in the “to do” box for a year… But the professionalism that defines the work of the ICTY should guard us from such cynicism and the delay probably only means that the judge has been extremely thorough in reviewing the request and its accompanying documents.

Third of all, as predicted in my previous post, Karadzic’s counsel has raised the issue of the effect of Mladic’s arrest on the Karadzic trial, and the question of whether a suspension and joinder might be an option.

4 responses to “The ICTY prepares for Mladic

  1. ==It is also ironic that a Dutch judge will be a part of accountability for what happened there, given that the a Dutch court decided in 2008 that the Netherlands were not responsible for what happened because they were under UN command, and that the UN itself could not be sued before a national court because of its immunity, thus removing all means of reparations for victims.==That is because of the major flaw in the international law, that individuals cannot sue states in international courts. We should resolve that as soon as possible, for instance by creating an International Court for Human rights, modeled after the European one. Of course in this new court(s) one should be able to sue the U.N. as well.

  2. "..interesting…It is also ironic that a Dutch judge will be a part of…" – it would be ironic or interesting if a Dutch Judge at the ICTY had anything to do with Dutch governmental or judicial policies, which clearly he does not. Judges Flugge from Germany and Moloto from South Africa are on the same bench: one could say that it is interesting and ironic that a German judge is appointed, since Bosnian Serbs have always maintained that Germany was the main culprit of the dissolution of Yugoslavia…but do these comments really add anything? Moreover, as you know, Dov, the fact that a case is assigned for initial appearance and/or pre-trial proceedings to a Chamber does not mean that the same chamber will also hold the trial (Karadzic had been assigned to the same Chamber for initial appearance, as you might remember). So not really very interesting or ironic…As for the amendment, of course they rushed to have a more streamlined indictment, which is best for Mladic: without this amendment, he would have had to appear twice and plead to different documents, although the charges are substantially the same. Much easier this way for the Defence, so no surprise there either!

  3. What do you mean without this amendment. without it he would still be flaunting his power and get support for it either ways.–call Bangladesh

  4. Hi Guy,thank you for your comments. Some brief reactions.1) I don't think you actually believe that judges at the ICTY don't have the support of their government. I just find it interesting that the Netherlands, in general, I have nothing again Orie, is part of the accountability mechanisms set up to deal with Srebrenica… except for itself. As for the German example, it's beside the point. Germany is not claimed to have directly contributed to an actual crime under consideration by the ICTY. The Netherlands are.As for the composition of the Chamber, the presumption is that the designated Chamber IS the one to do the trial. If you recall, the change in Karadzic was surrounded by some controversy on …judge Orie's findingd on Srebrenica in another case. So things are not as simple as you claim them to be.As for the indictment, of course it's not a surprise! but you're confusing my criticism of the process with criticism of the end result. I'm not saying that the indictment should not have been changed. I'm saying that this rushed in change at the last minute casts doubt on the seriousness of the Judge's appraisal of the request. As for what's "good" for the defense, I think that having to appear twice is certainly the least of its worries in the future…

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