New President of International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals chosen

January 19, 2019 2:30 PM

Judge Carmel Agius is of today officially the President International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”).

Judge Carmel Agius was born in Sliema, Malta, on 18 August 1945.

He studied at the University of Malta and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Italian and Economics in 1964. He received the diploma of notary in 1968 and a doctorate in law (LL.D) from the same university in 1969.

Judge Agius has served as a Judge at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”) since the Mechanism’s inception in 2012. In June 2018, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed him to serve as the President of the Mechanism, effective 19 January 2019 until 30 June 2020.

Judge Agius previously served as the final President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”), leading the ICTY from November 2015 until its historic and timely closure in December 2017. Judge Agius was first elected to the ICTY in 2001, and presided over several cases in Trial Chamber II. He was a Judge of the Appeals Chamber of both the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (“ICTR”) from 2010, and was elected Vice-President of the ICTY in November 2011. Judge Agius served as Vice-President for four years before being elected President.

During his tenure at the ICTY, Judge Agius has presided over the trial cases of Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brđanin, Prosecutor v. Naser Orić, and Prosecutor v. Vujadin Popović et al. In addition, since 2010, he has presided over appeals from both the ICTY and ICTR, including Prosecutor v. Jadranko Prlić et al., Prosecutor v. Mićo Stanišić & Stojan Župljanin, Prosecutor v. Tharcisse Renzaho, Prosecutor v. Vlastimir Đorđević, and Dominique Ntawukulilyayo v. The Prosecutor.

Judge Agius chaired the Rules Committee of the ICTY starting in 2003, and served as a member of the Tribunal’s Bureau for many years. In 2010 and 2011, he coordinated the drafting of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence for the Mechanism, which were accepted by the United Nations Security Council and adopted by the Judges of the Mechanism.

Prior to being elected to the ICTY, Judge Agius was a Senior Judge in the Court of Appeal of Malta and the Constitutional Court of Malta, and was Acting Chief Justice on several occasions. In 1992, he served on the Rule Making Board in the Malta Courts of Justice.

Judge Agius has been considerably involved in multilateral affairs. Between 1999 and 2008, he was a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. From 1990 and 2001, he was Head of the Maltese Delegation at annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna. He represented the Maltese Government at the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th United Nations Congresses on Crime Prevention and the Treatment of Offenders. Judge Agius also served as the Chairman of the Commission on the Taking of Children’s Evidence, and worked as a consultant to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights and Criminal Procedure in Nepal.

Between 1996 and 1998, Judge Agius represented the Government of Malta at the United Nations Preparatory Committee on the proposed establishment of the International Criminal Court. In 1998, he was the Acting Head of Delegation and Advisor of the Government of Malta at the United Nations Plenipotentiary Conference on the International Criminal Court (“ICC”), where he was actively involved in the negotiations and signed the Final Document on behalf of Malta. He later represented Malta at the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court which drew up the Rules of Evidence and Procedure and the Definitions of Crimes for the ICC.

From 1996 to 1999, Judge Agius was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Malta. He has written a number of publications and was a member of the editorial board of the Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights at the University of Malta from 1998 to 2004. Between 1989 and 2001, Judge Agius represented the Maltese Judiciary on the Central Council of the International Association of Judges. He was conferred the National Order of Merit of Malta in December 2015.


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