Arusha, 1 June 2009 (FH) - The President of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Justice Dennis Byron, has exhorted the UN Security Council to approve  better motivational package for non-permanent judges (ad litem) of the Tribunal

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The ICTR currently has nine permanent judges -- out of whom two sit on ICTR Appeal Chamber--and 11 ad litem judges.

"The differences in the status between permanent and ad litem judges remain a source of concern", Judge Byron observed in his report which will be formally submitted on Thursday to the Security Council.

He pointed out that following a resolution from December 2008, the competencies of ad litem judges are now almost identical to those of permanent judges.

The resolution allows that a bench entirely composed of non-permanent judges can try a case, which was not the case before.

Before the amendment, at least one permanent judge was needed on the bench.

"Seven out of the eleven ad litem judges currently serving at the Tribunal have been in service for longer than five years", argued Judge Byron.

"The status of ad litem differs from that of permanent judges with regard to pension rights and entitlement to an education allowance (for their children)", he added.

The Security Council has directed that the ICTR finish all first instance trials by the end of the year.

However, Judge Byron has already cautioned that the trial of the three former leaders of the former Rwandan presidential party (MRND) will not be finished before end of the year

In addition, he also does not exclude possible delays in the trials which should begin during the last months of the year.

But generally, 2010 will be devoted mainly to the drafting of judgements.

Six accused, including two former ministers, still wait to appear before the Tribunal.


© Hirondelle News Agency