5 October 2005

General Assembly Authorizes Judge to Participate in Yugoslav Tribunal Case, before Elected Term of Office Begins

NEW YORK, 4 October (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly this afternoon waived its rules of procedure to decide, on an urgent basis, that Judge Christine Van Den Wyngaert could participate in a case about to commence before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, even though her elected term as permanent judge of the Tribunal has not yet begun. 

In doing so, the Assembly endorsed the recommendation of the Secretary-General, contained in document A/60/231, which had also been endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1629, adopted on 30 September. 

In its resolution, the Council had decided that, notwithstanding article 12 [concerning composition of the Tribunal's chambers] of the Tribunal's Statute, and notwithstanding that Judge Van Den Wyngaert's elected term as permanent judge of the Tribunal would only begin on 17 November, she be assigned as a permanent judge to the Mrksic et al. case, which was scheduled to commence on 3 October. 

Judge Van Den Wyngaert had been elected as a permanent judge, for a four-year term, to the Tribunal on 19 November 2004.  The request to include the item on the agenda of the Assembly's sixtieth session was made as a matter of "an important and urgent character".

The Assembly will hold its next plenary meeting on Thursday, 6 October, when it will consider progress in the implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond.

* *** *