International Criminal Justice: The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT)

As previously mentioned, the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR) were created by the U.N. Security Council with limited lives for limited purposes.[1]

In December 2010 the Security Council dealt with the problems associated with the limited lives of these two tribunals by creating The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT). The Mechanism will have two branches for the just mentioned two tribunals after their closure. The branch for the ICTR will commence operations on July 1, 2012; the one for the ICTY, July 1, 2013.[2]

The IRMCT’s two branches will prosecute and try those individuals who had been indicted, but not tried, by the ICTR and ICTY. For those “who are among the most senior leaders suspected of being most responsible for the crimes . . . considering the gravity of the crimes charged and the level of responsibility of the accused,” the authority of the IRMCT is unlimited. For lesser officials, it has a similar authority, but only “after it has exhausted all reasonable efforts to refer the case” to an appropriate national court.

The IRMCT also will have an appeals chamber to handle appeals from any trials that it conducts as well as trials conducted by the ICTR and ICTY, but that did have appeals lodged or completed when the two tribunals closed.

It is anticipated that the just-captured Ratko Mladic will be tried by the ICTY.[3]

[1] See Post: International Criminal Justice: Introduction (April 26, 2011); Post: The International Criminal Court and the Obama Administration (May 13, 2011).

[2] ICTY, Security Council Adopts Resolution on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), (Dec. 29, 2010),; THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL AND ITS ‘RESIDUES’, sensetribunal (Jan. 18, 2011),; Roberts, Security Council Votes to Establish ICTR Residual Mechanism, Human Rights Brief (Feb. 10, 2011),; Van Schaack, Security Council Residual Mechanism, IntLawGrrls (May  2011),

[3]  Post: International Criminal Justice: Mladic To Face Charges at ICTY (May 27, 2011).

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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