Fausto Pocar

Interview conducted 20 May 2015 in The Hague, Netherlands, by Linda Carter and Leigh Swigart.

headshot of fausto pocarBackground

Interview Content

In his interview, Judge Fausto Pocar reminisces about initially taking a short term position as an International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) judge in 1999; accepting the Kunarac case as his first despite the low rank of accused; what he considers the inadequate consideration of human rights law in international criminal proceedings at the ICTY; errors committed during the Milošević trial; his reasoning for supporting the right of self-defense by ICTY accused persons; and diminishing collegiality at the tribunals.

He discusses criticisms faced by the tribunal and his own reservations regarding the ICTY; human rights violations present in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Barayagwiza case; Pocar's solution to the issue of concurrent crimes for the same conduct as evidenced by the Celebici decision; the plurality of definitions of aiding and abetting in criminal law; the necessity to adapt International Criminal Court (ICC) rules to include provisions that more accurately apply to non-international armed conflicts; the influence of politics and pressure from state governments faced by leaders at the Ad Hoc Tribunals and the ICC; and the wave-like nature of progress at the tribunals and his hope for the future of international criminal justice.

read full transcript of interview

Biographical Information

Fausto Pocar was born 1939 in Milan, Italy. He received his Doctor of Laws at the University of Milan in 1961. He was a longtime professor of international law at the University of Milan, and served on the United Nations Human Rights Committee from 1984 to 2000.

Pocar joined the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as a judge in 1999 and continues in this position till the present. He served as judge at the ICTY from 1999 to present and as ICTY president from 2005-08. Pocar is an active scholar and has published numerous articles in the field of human rights and international criminal law.