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Watch Mr. Fomété's interview video clip.


View Mr. Fomété's video interview from Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal.

Jean Pelé Fomété

Law Clerk, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 1996; various positions of leadership in the Registry of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 1997-2009; currently Deputy Registrar, International Court of JusticeFomete Profile Pic

An interview with Jean-Pelé Fomété, conducted on 26 May 2015 in The Hague by Linda Carter and Leigh Swigart.

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 Jean-Pelé Fomété (2016), 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 this interview, Mr. Fomété reminisces about his early work at ICTY; disgruntlement with the early negative evaluations of the ICTR; ICTR underestimation of how long trials would take; difficulties using United Nations procedures and accounting for persons needing to remain anonymous; traveling to Cameroon to carry out the arrest warrant of ICTR accused André Ntagerura; willingness of the Malian authorities to accept ICTR convicted persons into their prisons; mixed feelings about the ICTR after 14 years of employment; power of the Arusha “spirit” that infused ICTR staff; taking lessons learned at the ICTR to his subsequent post as UN Dispute Tribunal registrar. He discusses events in Africa around the time of the Rwandan genocide; similarities between conflicts in the Balkans and Rwanda; disparity in infrastructure between the ICTY and ICTR; setting up various services of the ICTR Registry; creation of the ICTR press center; ICTR innovations in court transcription and interpretation practices; institutional cooperation among the ICTY, ICTR, and Special Court for Sierra Leone, and later the International Criminal Court; ICTR innovation in combining distributive with retributive justice; civil and common law interactions; challenges of delivering justice while building a system; disappointment about the reluctance of countries to host ICTR acquitted persons; improvement of prison conditions in countries where ICTR convicted persons have served sentences; the development of the ICTR outreach program.

Biographical information

Jean-Pelé Fomété earned a Bachelors degree in Law from the Université de Yaoundé; a Masters and Doctorate in International Relations from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon; and a Masters of Business Administration from the Maastricht School of Management. His professional positions include Chief, United Nations Political and Legal Affairs Service, Ministry of External Relations of Cameroon; Law Clerk, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 1996; Legal Advisor and Special Counsel to ICTR Registrar, 1997-2002; Programs Director, ICTR Registry, 2002-09; Registrar, UN Dispute Tribunal, Nairobi, 2009-13; and Deputy Registrar, International Court of Justice, 2013 to present.