At a plenary session, the ICTY judges have elected judges Patrick Robinson of Jamaica and O-Gon Kwon of South Korea as the president and vice-President of the Tribunal. In light of the deadlines set in the completion strategy, Robinson and Kwon are likely to be the last president and vice-president, at least in Tribunal’s present form

Patrick Robinson, president of the TribunalPatrick Robinson, president of the Tribunal

– Judge Patrick Robinson from Jamaica was elected today as the new president of the ICTY. Judge O-Gon Kwon from South Korea was appointed vice-president. Their appointment is effective 17 November 2008, which is when the term of office of the current president Pocar from Italy and vice-president Parker from Australia expires.

Judge Robinson was appointed as a Tribunal judge in November 1998. Since then was either a member of the Trial Chamber or the presiding judge in cases against Slobodan Milosevic, Darijo Kordic and Mario Cerkez, General Dragomir Milosevic, and the three accused for the Keraterm camp crimes in Prijedor. Judge Robinson is the presiding judge in the case of Milan and Sredoje Lukic; he was assigned to this trial after the trial of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic was postponed.

The newly appointed vice-president O-Gon Kwon sat in the bench in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic and is currently a member of the Trial Chamber hearing the case against seven Bosnian Serb military and police officers charged with Srebrenica and Zepa crimes.

Judge Robinson is the sixth president of the Tribunal since its establishment in 1993. The first ICTY president who served two terms of office was Italian judge Antonio Cassese. In 1999, Cassese was succeeded by US judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, who was in turn succeeded by French judge Claude Jorda. In 2003, US judge Theodor Meron was appointed ICTY president. His successor was Judge Fausto Pocar from Italy, elected in 2005. Over the last fifteen years it has been an unwritten rule for the judges from the continental and Anglo-Saxon legal systems to alternate as ICTY presidents.

Presidents are elected for a term of office of two years. In light of the completion strategy, Judge Robinson will likely be the last president of the Tribunal, at least in its present form.