Arusha, 21 April, 2009 (FH)-One of the most charismatic judges of the Appeals Court of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mohamed Shahabuddeen,77, has stepped down  after serving the UN international courts for about a decade, reports Hirondelle Agency..

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The Chief of ICTR Public Affairs and Information Unit, Bocar Sy, confirmed to Hirondelle Agency of Shahabudden's resignation.

A native of Guyana, Judge Shahabuddeen joined the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yogoslavia (ICTY) in June 1997 and shortly afterwards was elected as ICTR appeals court judge

"He has contributed much to the course of international criminal justice for which he will be dearly remembered," said the ICTR President, Justice Dennis Byron.

Judge Shahabuddeen had also served between February 1988 and February 1997 as a Judge of the International Court of Justice, the highest judicial body of the United Nations.

This international judicial experience followed an impressive national career during which Judge Shahabuddeeen held various positions: private counsel (1954-1959), Magistrate (1959), Crown Counsel (1959-1962), Solicitor-General (1962-1973), Attorney-General (1973-1987) and Minister of Legal Affairs (1978-1987).

Between 1978 and 1987, Judge Shahabuddeen also acted on various occasions as Minister for Foreign Affairs and held other governmental positions, including First Deputy Prime Minister and Vice-President.

Author of numerous articles and books, Judge Shahabuddeen is a member of several associations, including the Institut de droit international, the Société française pour le droit international, the International Academy of Comparative Law, the African Society of International and Comparative Law and the Indian Society of International Law.

Judge Shahabuddeen has also submitted his resignation from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He had been elected by the Assembly of States Parties in January 2009 for a nine year term of office as a judge, scheduled to commence on 11 March.


© Hirondelle News Agency