Theodor Meron

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Theodor Meron
Theodor Meron.jpg
Born (1930-04-28) 28 April 1930 (age 86)
Kalisz, Poland
Nationality United States
Fields International law
Institutions Graduate Institute of International Studies
New York University School of Law
Alma mater Hebrew University
Harvard Law School
Cambridge University

Theodor Meron (born 28 April 1930, Kalisz, Poland) is a former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the ICTY.[1] He was elected President of the ICTY by his fellow judges on 19 October 2011,[2] and again on 1 October 2013. He has served a total of four terms as President of the ICTY, elected by his peers.[3]

Meron previously served as President of the ICTY from 2003-05.[4] On 20 December 2011, he was elected as a Judge of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism). On 29 February 2012, he was appointed President of the Mechanism for a four-year term, starting 1 March 2012.[5] In 2016, he was reappointed as President of the Mechanism.[6]

Early life[edit]

Born in Kalisz, Poland, Meron received his legal education at the Hebrew University (M.J.), Harvard Law School (LL.M., J.S.D.) and Cambridge University (Diploma in Public International Law).[7] Since 1977, he has been a Professor of International Law at the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies and, since 1994, the holder of the Charles L. Denison Chair at New York University School of Law. In 2000-01, he served as Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State.[8]

Legal career[edit]

Meron was a Public Member of the U.S. Delegation to the CSCE Conference on Human Dimensions in Copenhagen in 1990. In 1998, he served as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Rome Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (ICC), where he was involved in the drafting of the provisions on crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. He also served on the Preparatory Commission for the Establishment of the ICC, with particular responsibilities for the definition of the crime of aggression. He has acted as Counsel for the United States before the International Court of Justice, and in 2000-2001 served as Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State.[9]

Judge Meron has also served on several committees of experts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), including those on Internal Strife, on the Environment and Armed Conflicts, and on Direct Participation in Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law. In addition, he was a member of the steering committee of ICRC experts on Customary Rules of International Humanitarian Law. Judge Meron is a frequent lecturer at ICRC seminars, and he co-founded and continues to co-lead the annual ICRC seminars for U.N. diplomats on international humanitarian law at New York University, a tradition spanning three decades.[10]

He has also served on the advisory committees or boards of several human rights organizations, including Americas Watch and the International League for Human Rights. In addition, he is a member of the Institute of International Law, the Board of Editors of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, the (U.S.) Council on Foreign Relations, the French Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, and the Bar of the State of New York. Judge Meron was Honorary President and is a patron of the American Society of International Law. He served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law from 1993 to 1998 and is now an honorary editor.[11]

Judge Meron, who received his legal education at the Universities of Jerusalem, Harvard (where he received his doctorate), and Cambridge, became a professor of international law at New York University School of Law in 1978. In 1994 he was appointed the Charles L. Denison Chair, and he is now Charles L. Denison Professor Emeritus and Judicial Fellow at New York University School of Law. Between 1991 and 1995 he was also Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and he has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University and at the University of California (Berkeley).[12] Since 2014, he has been a Visiting Professor of international criminal law at Oxford. His teaching in Oxford is pro bono, as he donates his salary to the University.[13]

He has been a Carnegie Lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law, Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, Max Planck Institute Fellow (Heidelberg), Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He was also the Marek Nowicki Lecturer in Budapest and Warsaw under the auspices of the Open Society Institute. He has lectured at many universities as well as at the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg). He delivered the 2003 General Course of Public International Law at The Hague Academy of International Law on International Law in the Age of Human Rights republished as the Humanization of International Law (2006). In January 2013, he delivered the keynote address for the opening of the Legal Year of the European Court of Human Rights. In 2014 he delivered the Oxford Annual Lecture on Global Justice. He is a member of Common Room of All Souls College and honorary member of Senior Common Room of Trinity College.[14]

Judge Meron was awarded the 2005 Rule of Law Award by the International Bar Association and the 2006 Manley O. Hudson Medal of the American Society of International Law. In 2007 he was made Officer of the Legion of Honor by the government of France.[15] The recipient of the Charles Homer Haskins Prize of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2008, he was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.[16] In 2011 he received a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Warsaw. In 2013 he was elevated to the “dignity” of “Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite” by the government of France.[17]

A frequent contributor to the American Journal of International Law and other legal journals and a Shakespeare enthusiast who has written widely on the laws of war and chivalry in Shakespeare’s historical plays, Judge Meron is the author of more than 100 articles in legal publications, including, in the American Journal of International Law, “International Criminalization of Internal Atrocities” (1995), and “Rape as a Crime under International Law” (1993). His books are: Investment Insurance in International Law (Oceana-Sijthoff 1976); The United Nations Secretariat (Lexington Books 1977); Human Rights in International Law (Oxford University Press 1984); Human Rights Law-Making in the United Nations (Oxford University Press 1986) (awarded the certificate of merit of the American Society of International Law); Human Rights in Internal Strife: Their International Protection (Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures, Grotius Publications 1987); Human Rights and Humanitarian Norms as Customary Law (Oxford University Press 1989); Henry’s Wars and Shakespeare’s Laws (Oxford University Press 1993); Bloody Constraint: War and Chivalry in Shakespeare (Oxford University Press 1998); War Crimes Law Comes of Age: Essays (Oxford University Press 1998); International Law In the Age of Human Rights (Martinus Nijhoff 2004); The Humanization of International Law (Martinus Nijhoff 2006); and The Making of International Criminal Justice: A View from the Bench: Selected Speeches (Oxford University Press 2011); and is a Co-Editor, Humanizing the Laws of War, Selected Writings of Richard Baxter (Oxford University Press 2013).[18]

Since his election to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) by the U.N. General Assembly in 2001 he has served on the Appeals Chamber, which hears appeals from both the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Between March 2003 and November 2005, he also served as President of the ICTY. He was elected President of the Tribunal again on October 19, 2011 for a two-year term starting November 17, 2011 and for another two-year term on October 1, 2013. An author of twelve books, he is a leading scholar of international humanitarian law, human rights, and international criminal law and the author of some of the books and articles that helped build the legal foundations for international criminal tribunals. Judge Meron has contributed to the development of international law, and especially international humanitarian and criminal law, in a variety of fora.[19]

In December 2011, he was elected by the U.N. General Assembly as one of the 25 judges on the roster of the new International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT). On February 29, 2012 he was appointed President of the MICT for a four-year term by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.[20] In 2016, judges of the UN mechanism for international criminal tribunals gave him a nearly unanimous support for his reappointment as President of the Mechanism.[21]

Gabrielle Louise McIntyre has served as the Chef de Cabinet for President Meron at both the ICTY and the Mechanism as well as for two other former Presidents of the ICTY.

ICTY controversies[edit]

In June 2013, Judge Frederik Harhoff of Denmark, a judge at the ICTY, circulated a letter saying that Meron had pressured other judges into acquitting Serb and Croat commanders. The letter claimed Meron had raised the degree of responsibility that senior military leaders should bear for war crimes committed by their subordinates, to the point where it a conviction has become nearly impossible. They blamed Meron, whom they identified as an American, for the acquittals of top Serb and Croat commanders.[22]

In August 2013, a chamber appointed by the ICTY Vice-President found by majority that Judge Harhoff had demonstrated an unacceptable appearance of bias in favour of conviction. Harhoff was therefore disqualified from the case of Vojislav Šešelj. The decision followed a defence motion seeking the disqualification of Harhoff on the basis of Judge Harhoff's letter.[citation needed]

In 2013, the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) of Rwanda called for the resignation of Meron, who was accused of influencing court decisions by exerting undue influence on judges to let high-profile war crimes suspects go free. The Executive Secretary of the CNLG, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, has stated permitting these decisions could have "disastrous consequences for the current and future cases of international war crimes, for truth and justice in the world, for peace and tolerance, and for human rights and freedoms."[23]

Despite Harhoff's allegations, judges of the Tribunal reelected Judge Meron in 2013 as President by a two to one majority.[24] 2016 he was reappointed as President of the Mechanism.[25]

Judge Meron was on the bench on 29 ICTR appeals involving 39 individuals, presiding over 15 of these cases.[26] Of the 29 appeals, 30 individuals were convicted and 5 individuals were acquitted, acquittals of 3 individuals were affirmed and one re-trial was ordered.[27]

Judge Meron was on the bench on 26 ICTY appeals involving 40 individuals, presiding over 11 of these cases.[28] Of the 26 appeals, 28 individuals were convicted and 4 individuals were acquitted, acquittals of 4 individuals were affirmed and a re-trial was ordered for 3 individuals.[29] In one case, involving an appeal from a Rule 98bis Judgement, the acquittal was overturned and the Trial Chamber was ordered to reinstate the charge.[30]

Meron defended the Tribunal's record on both convictions and acquittals on BBC Hardtalk,[31] TedX,[32] and in an article on Being an International Criminal Judge in the 2016 Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[33] Moreover, the controversial acquittal of Croatian General Gotovina gained a unanimous vindication of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice in Croatia V Serbia genocide judgment of 3 February 2015.[34]

Legal opinion on settlements in the occupied territories[edit]

In the late 1960s, Meron was legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry and wrote a secret 1967 memo[35][36][37] for Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, who was considering creating an Israeli settlement at Kfar Etzion. This was just after Israel's victory in the Six-Day War of June 1967. Meron's memo concluded that creating new settlements in the Occupied Territories would be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Eshkol created the settlements anyway.[38]

Demolitions and deportations[edit]

In a recently discovered opinion, dated March 1968, Meron advised the Israeli Government that the demolition of houses of terror suspects on the West Bank and deporting residents on security grounds violated the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians.[39]

Works[edit]

Meron's books include:

  • Investment Insurance in International Law (Oceana-Sijthoff, 1976)
  • The United Nations Secretariat (Lexington Books, 1977)
  • Human Rights in International Law (Oxford University Press, 1984)
  • Human Rights Law-Making in the United Nations (Oxford University Press, 1986; awarded the certificate of merit of the American Society of International Law)
  • Human Rights in Internal Strife: Their International Protection (Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures, Grotius Publications, 1987)
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Norms as Customary Law (Oxford University Press, 1989)
  • Henry's Wars and Shakespeare's Laws (Oxford University Press, 1993)
  • Bloody Constraint: War and Chivalry in Shakespeare (Oxford University Press, 1998)
  • War Crimes Law Comes of Age: Essays (Oxford University Press, 1998)
  • International Law In the Age of Human Rights (Martinus Nijhoff, 2004)
  • The Humanization of International Law (Hague Academy of International Law and Nijhoff, 2006);[40]
  • The Making of International Justice: A View from the Bench, appeared in 2011 (Oxford University Press).

Meron is among the editors of Humanizing the Laws of War: Selected Writings of Richard Baxter (Oxford University Press 2013).

The Oxford Meron MICT Internship Fund[edit]

The aim of the Oxford Meron MICT Internship Fund is to provide financial assistance to Oxford law graduates seeking valuable work experience in international criminal law. The Fund will provide support to graduate students within the Faculty and recent Oxford law graduates who wish to undertake internships at the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (‘MICT’). This Fund is made possible through the generosity of Judge Theodor Meron, President of the MICT and Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. [41]

Lectures[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TPIY: Statement of the President of the Tribunal – Judge Theodor Meron". ICTY. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "TPIY: Judge Meron and Judge Agius elected President and Vice-President of the". ICTY. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  3. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  4. ^ "TPIY: The President". ICTY. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints President, Welcomes Security Council's Appointment of Prosecutor of International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Un.org. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  6. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/news/judge-theodor-meron-appointed-new-term-president-mechanism; http://docbox.un.org/DocBox/docbox.nsf/GetFile?OpenAgent&DS=S/2016/193&Lang=E&Type=DOC(Letter dated 23 February 2016 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council)
  7. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  8. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  9. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  10. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  11. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  12. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  13. ^ https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/people/theodor-meron; http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  14. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  15. ^ "ACLS American Council of Learned Societies". Acls.org. Retrieved 10 August 2015; http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  16. ^ https://www.acls.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/OP/Haskins/65_2008_TheodorMeron.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  18. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  19. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  20. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints President, Welcomes Security Council's Appointment of Prosecutor of International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Un.org. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2015; http://www.unmict.org/en/about/principals/president
  21. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/news/judge-theodor-meron-appointed-new-term-president-mechanism
  22. ^ Marlise Simons (14 June 2013). "Judge at War Crimes Tribunal Faults Acquittals of Serb and Croat Commanders". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ Edwin Musoni. Rwanda Wants ICTR Judge Meron to Resign, AllAfrica.com, 19 June 2013.
  24. ^ http://www.icty.org/en/press/judge-meron-and-judge-agius-re-elected-president-and-vice-president-icty
  25. ^ http://www.unmict.org/en/news/judge-theodor-meron-appointed-new-term-president-mechanism
  26. ^ http://unictr.unmict.org/en/cases. The cases were: Bagilishema, Rutaganda, Niyitegeka, G & E Ntakirutimana, Semanza, Kamuhanda, Ntagerura et al, Gacumbitsi, Ndindabahizi, Simba, Nahimana et al, Seromba, Muvunyi, Karera, Zigiranyirazo, Bikindi, Nchamihigo, Rukundo, Kalimanzira, Muvunyi, Renzaho, Bagosora & Nsengiyumva, Ntabakuze, Mugenzi & Mugiraneza, Ndahimana, Ndindiliyimana et al., Bizimungu, Karemera & Ngirumpatse, Nizeyimana.
  27. ^ http://unictr.unmict.org/en/cases.
  28. ^ http://www.icty.org/en/action/cases/4. The cases were: Kunarac et al., Mucic et al., Vasiljevi}, Krsti}, Dragan Nikoli}, Deronji}, Momir Nikoli}, Staki}, Gali}, Bralov, Brđanin, Blagojevi} & Joki}, Limaj et al., Halilovi}, Hadžihasanović & Kubura, Ori}, Strugar, Krajišnik, Mrksi} and Šljivančanin, Dragomir Milošević, Bo{koski & Tar~ulovski, Haradinaj et al., Gotovina & Marcac, Perisić, Karadžić (Rule 98 bis appeal), Tolimir.
  29. ^ http://www.icty.org/en/action/cases/4
  30. ^ http://www.icty.org/en/action/cases/4. This was in the Karadžić case.
  31. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3csrmm8
  32. ^ http://tedxhagueacademy.org/speaker/theodor-meron
  33. ^ https://www.amacad.org/multimedia/pdfs/publications/bulletin/winter2016/bulletin_Winter2016_CriminalJudge.pdf
  34. ^ http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=73&case=118&code=cry.
  35. ^ Gorenberg, Gershom (10 March 2006). "Israel's TragedyForetold". New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  36. ^ Transcript: God's Jewish Warriors, CNN Presents, 21 August 2007.
  37. ^ Settlement in the Administered Territories, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; links to 1967 Meron opinion, southjerusalem.com, September 2008; accessed 15 March 2016.
  38. ^ Settlement in the Administered Territories, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; links to 1967 Meron opinion, southjerusalem.com, September 2008; accessed 15 March 2016.
  39. ^ http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657167; https://www.reddit.com/r/worldpolitics/comments/36i7fn/israel_knew_all_along_that_settlements_home/ http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/06/why-israel-is-blocking-access-to-its-archives/
  40. ^ "ACLS American Council of Learned Societies". www.acls.org. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  41. ^ 2016-06-06-call-applications-oxford-meron-mict-internship-fund

External links[edit]