Five Judges were sworn in at a ceremony held today at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The ceremony was administered by the Tribunal’s President, Judge Erik Møse and witnessed by its Registrar, Mr. Adama Dieng, representing the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan. In attendance were other judges of the Tribunal, the Deputy Prosecutor, Mr. Bongani Majola, Prosecution and Defence Counsel, and Tribunal staff.
Judge Joseph Asoka Nihal de Silva (Sri Lanka), who was appointed by the Secretary-General to fill the vacancy which resulted from the retirement of Judge Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana, was sworn in as a permanent judge. Judges Taghrid Hikmet (Jordan), Karin Hökborg (Sweden), Gberdao Gustave Kam (Burkina Faso) and Seon Ki Park (Republic of Korea) were sworn in as ad litem judges. This brings the number of ad litem judges to nine, the maximum number permitted to take office at the Tribunal at any one time.
The total number of judges in the Trial Chambers is now eighteen. These Judges represent the different principal legal systems of the world and their appointments were based on, amongst other criteria, fair gender representation and equitable geographical distribution. There are now eight female judges in the Trial Chambers.
The arrival of these five judges will enable the Tribunal to commence trials in two cases involving five accused. Both trials will start on Monday 20 September 2004. The commencement of these trials will bring the number of accused on trial to twenty-five and the number of persons whose trials have either been completed or are in progress to forty-eight.