The President of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”), Judge Theodor Meron, yesterday took part in a panel discussion entitled “A Conversation on New Models of Tribunals”, at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute, led the conversation between President Meron, the Registrar of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, Dr. Fidelma Donlon; the Chair of International Criminal Law and Global Justice, and Programme Director of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University, Professor Dr. Carsten Stahn.

The event offered a unique opportunity for over 150 representatives of the international community in The Hague to discuss specific aspects of these two institutions, how they differ from other international courts and tribunals, as well as their possible contributions to future accountability efforts.

In his remarks, President Meron reflected on several of the distinctive features of the Mechanism, compared to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, emphasizing that an important unique aspect of the Mechanism is its “overarching and explicit obligation to be lean and efficient” as mandated by the Security Council.

To showcase how the Mechanism is operating in a small, temporary and efficient manner, President Meron touched upon some of the novel features in Chambers. These include, for example, the Mechanism’s reliance on a roster of Judges who carry out their functions for the Mechanism only when necessary; allowing for Judges to operate and undertake judicial work remotely, unless they are called to the seat of one of the two branches of the Mechanism; and the remuneration of Judges only for those days on which they exercise their functions. President Meron noted that these and other measures will achieve “a significant reduction in judicial expenses as compared with the two Tribunals” and enable the Mechanism to “stand as a new model of international court: one that is leaner and more efficient, while continuing to meet the highest international standards of due process”.