Alphons Orie

Defense counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 1995-97; Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 2001 to the presentOrie Profile Pic

An interview with Alphons Orie, conducted on 21 May 2015 in The Hague by David P. Briand and Linda Carter.

Access the full transcript here.

Go to the Brandeis Institutional Repository to conduct a keyword search across the entire Ad Hoc Tribunals Oral History collection.

Please use the following citation format: Oral History Interview with Alphons Orie (2017), Ad Hoc Tribunals Oral History Project, pages XX, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Interview content

In his interview, Judge Orie reminisces about joining the defense team of Duško Tadić; receiving training in adversarial trial procedures; traveling to the Balkans to prepare Tadić’s defense; the burden of the novel issues to be decided in the ICTY’s first case; the high stature of ICTY judges; challenges of courtroom activities as a non-native speaker of English; high expectations around the ICTY’s first trial. He discusses challenges to the jurisdiction of the ICTY in the Tadić case; development of the Tadić defense strategy; arguing for the concept of “safe conduct” before ICTY judges; how ICTY trials avoided the criticism of “victors’ justice;” the process by which he was nominated for the ICTY bench and his campaigning in New York City; role of the ICTY in ending impunity for grave crimes; how certain ICC procedures are different from those of the ICTY; why the Tadić trial was shorter than subsequent ones; and the risk of politicization of international criminal law.

Biographical information

Judge Orie received both his first university degree and LL.M. degree at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and also undertook a post-graduate course in European Criminal Law at the Free University, Brussels, Belgium. He was a lecturer in criminal law at the University of Leiden from 1971-1980, then served as a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of The Netherlands from 1981 to 1997. In 1995, he joined the defense team in the ICTY’s first case, Prosecutor v. Duško Tadić, which lasted for two years. During this time, he was a partner in the law firm Wladimiroff & Spong, where he specialized in criminal law and international criminal cases (including trans-border defense, extradition, transfer of prisoners, and international judicial co-operation) as well as Supreme Court criminal cases. Judge Orie served as a justice of the Supreme Court of The Netherlands from 1997 to 2001, after which he was elected as a permanent judge of the ICTY. In 2011, he was also elected as a judge of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.