Keynote address by Judge Pocar at The Hague Summit on Human Rights and International Law, 4 February 2015.

Fausto Pocar

Trial Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 2000-01; Appeals Judge of the ICTY and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2000-present; ICTY President, 2005-08

pocarAn interview with Fausto Pocar, conducted by Linda Carter and Leigh Swigart on 20 May 2015 in The Hague.

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 Fausto Pocar (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 Pocar reminisces about initially taking a short term position as an 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 ICTR 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 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.

Biographical information

Fausto Pocar was born 1939 in Milan, Italy. He received his LL.D 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. He joined the ICTY as a Judge in 1999 and continues in this position till the present. He served as President of the ICTY from 2005 to 2008.  Judge at the ICTY, 1999 to present; ICTY President, 2005-2008.  Judge Pocar is an active scholar and has published numerous articles in the field of human rights and international criminal law.