Judge Carmel Agius (Malta)
President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals since 19 January 2019.
Born on 18 August 1945 in Sliema, Malta.
Judge Carmel Agius was appointed as President of the Mechanism by the United Nations Secretary-General effective 19 January 2019. 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. He had been Vice-President of the ICTY for four years before taking office as President.
Judge Agius was first elected to the ICTY by the United Nations General Assembly in March 2001. As of 2009, he served as a Judge on the Appeals Chamber of both the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) until the respective closure of the Tribunals in 2015 and 2017. In 2012, he was part of the first Judges to be appointed to serve as a Judge at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”). Since then he has been called to exercise functions on behalf of the Mechanism in a variety of judicial matters including as a member of the Appeals Chamber in the Mladić case.
During his tenure on the Appeals Chamber of the ad hoc Tribunals, Judge Agius presided over both ICTR and ICTY appeals in the Đorđević, Ntawukulilyayo, Renzaho, Prlić et al., and Stanišić & Župljanin cases. He has also been a Judge in the appeals proceedings in the Augustin Bizimungu, Gatete, Hategekimana, Kalimanzira, Ndahimana, Ndindiliyimana et al., Rukundo, Setako, Uwinkindi, and Zigiranyirazo cases, as well as in the Gotovina & Markač, Lukić & Lukić, Perišić, and Stanišić & Simatović cases. At the trial level, Judge Agius presided over the Brđanin, Orić, and Popović et al. cases.
Judge Agius coordinated the drafting of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence for the Mechanism in 2010 and 2011, which were accepted by the United Nations Security Council and adopted by the Judges of the Mechanism. He had previously chaired the Rules Committee of the ICTY since 2003, and served as a member of the ICTY’s Bureau for many years.
Prior to becoming a Judge of the ICTR, ICTY, and Mechanism, 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.
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.