The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mechanism Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam of Burkina Faso.
Judge Kam was sworn in as a Judge of the Mechanism in May 2012 and served with distinction on several important matters including the review in the case of Augustin Ngirabatware, and, most recently, the appeal in the case of Ratko Mladić. Judge Kam was at the forefront of international criminal law for many years. In 2003, he was elected by the United Nations General Assembly as an ad litemjudge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he served for nearly a decade. Between 2015 and 2016, Judge Kam presided over the Trial Chamber in the ground breaking case against Hissène Habré before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. Earlier in his career, Judge Kam participated in drafting the Statute, Rules and Regulations of the International Criminal Court as a member of the Burkina Faso delegation to the preparatory meetings which preceded the Court’s creation.
Judge Kam passed away on 17 February 2021. He will be remembered by colleagues and staff for his professionalism, dedication, and kindness.
“It is with great sadness that I learn of Judge Kam’s death,” said Judge Carmel Agius, President of the Mechanism. “His commitment to justice and human rights is evident from his long and distinguished career. The passing of Judge Kam is a great loss to the Mechanism as well as to the international legal community as a whole.”
Today, in honour of Judge Kam, the Mechanism is flying the flag of the United Nations at half-mast at both of its branches in The Hague and Arusha.