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International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on the future of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia after 2010; and if he will make a statement. (191979)

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) currently estimates the completion of existing trials and appeals by 2011. The UK strongly supports the Tribunal's efforts to fulfil its mandate as efficiently and quickly as possible. At the same time, the UK is actively engaged in Security Council discussions to agree a coherent framework to deal with residual functions, including a mechanism to try fugitive indictees of ICTY and the other ad hoc tribunals following the completion of their work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia's ability to achieve the objectives of its completion strategy by 2010. (191980)

Since 2004 the president and prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) have provided twice-yearly reports to the UN Security Council on progress towards the completion strategy which envisages the completion of trials by the end of 2008 and appeals by the end of 2010.

The Government note that the ICTY president reported to the UN Security Council in December 2007 that more time is needed to complete its caseload as a result of the capture of fugitive indictees Zdravko Tolimir and Vlastimir Dordevic last May and June respectively. The ICTY currently estimates the completion of existing trials and appeals by 2011. The transfer of the remaining four fugitive indictees will also have consequences for the projected timescales for the completion of the tribunal's work.

The Government welcome the steps taken by the tribunal to expedite the completion of cases such as greater use of written evidence and the introduction of multi-accused trials. The UK, together with EU and UN Security Council partners, regularly calls on the ICTY to continue to build on these measures to fulfil its completion strategy targets.