Long-serving UN Judge is set to resign

Tuesday November 09 2021
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 One of the longest-serving judges with the United Nations criminal tribunals is set to resign.

US-born Judge Theodor Meron has informed the UN secretary general of his intention to resign as of November 17, 2021.

If accepted, this will mark two decades from the commencement of his first-term as Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslativa (ICTY).

His intention to resign was communicated to the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres through the President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Carmel Agius.

The Arusha-based Mechanism took over from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) which closed shop in 2015 after convicting 61 genocide suspects and acquitting 14 others.

Judge Meron served on the Appeals Chamber of both the ICTY and ICTR from 2001 until the two Tribunals closed down.


Reasons for his intention to resign were not divulged by a short statement from the Mechanism offices here.

However, the brief showered praise on the 91-year-old American Judge for having displayed “an unwavering commitment to the advancement of international criminal justice”.

Judge Meron has also been a Judge of the Mechanism since it commenced operating in 2012.

His long and distinguished service includes four terms as President of the ICTY and three terms as President of the Mechanism.

In the latter capacity, he oversaw the initial stages of the Mechanism’s lifespan and played a significant role in ensuring that the institution remained small and efficient.

He is credited for having been instrumental in establishing substantive and procedural jurisprudence in the area of international criminal law during his time at the ICTY and the Mechanism.

“He has excelled throughout his career both as a Judge and a leading scholar. He will be missed at the Mechanism” Judge Agius said.

The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) was established by the UN Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010).

It is mandated to complete the remaining work of the ICTR and ICTY, both of which closed in 2015 and 2017 respectively. The Tribunal has two branches; one in Arusha and the other in The Hague, Netherlands.