Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals
The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (the MICT) was established by the United Nations Security Council on 22 December 2010 to carry out a number of essential functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) after the completion of their respective mandates.
The establishment of the Mechanism is a key step of the Completion Strategies of the two Tribunals. It is a new small, temporary and efficient body, tasked with continuing the “jurisdiction, rights and obligations and essential functions” (UNSC Resolution 1966) of the ICTR and the ICTY; and maintaining the legacy of both institutions.
The MICT comprises two branches. One branch covers functions inherited from the ICTR and is located in Arusha, Tanzania. It commenced functioning on 1 July 2012. The other branch will be located in The Hague and will take on functions derived from the ICTY on 1 July 2013. During the initial period of the Mechanism’s work, there will be a temporal overlap with the ICTR and the ICTY as these institutions complete outstanding work on any trial or appeal proceedings which are pending as of the commencement dates of the respective branches of the MICT.
Resolution 1966 of the UN Security Council envisages that the Mechanism’s “functions and size will diminish over time, with a small number of staff commensurate with its reduced functions”. The Security Council determined that the Mechanism will continue to operate until it decides otherwise, but further provided that the progress of the work of the Mechanism will be reviewed in 2016 and every two years thereafter.
The Mechanism will perform a number of essential functions currently carried out by the ICTR and the ICTY. Securing the arrest, transfer and prosecution of the nine remaining fugitives still wanted for trial by the ICTR will be a top priority for the Mechanism.
The tracking, arrest and prosecution of the nine remaining fugitives still wanted for trial by the ICTR is a top priority for the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. As of July 2012, nine accused indicted by the ICTR for their participation in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 remain at large.
Under Article 6(3) of its Statute, the Mechanism shall only retain jurisdiction over those individuals considered to be the most responsible for committing the gravest crimes. In accordance with this Article, the ICTR Prosecutor requested referrals to Rwanda in the cases of six fugitives: Fulgence Kayishema, Charles Sikubwabo, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, Aloys Ndimbati, Charles Ryandikayo, and Pheneas Munyarugarama. The Mechanism will retain jurisdiction over the following three accused: Augustin Bizimana, Félicien Kabuga, and Protais Mpiranya.
With the arrest and transfer in 2011 of the last two fugitives for the ICTY, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić, what was originally envisaged as a function of the MICT – trial of the ICTY’s remaining fugitives - will be completed by the ICTY.
The Principals of the Mechanism are the President, the Prosecutor and the Registrar. Their appointment is common to both branches of the Mechanism.
Key documents (Statute, Rules of Procedure and Evidence, Judicial Filings, etc.) pertaining to the Mechanism are available on its Documents website section.
News related to the Mechanism are available on its News website section.