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Louise Arbour, Laureate of the 2011 Special Jury Prize

Posted on : October 14, 2011

Louise Arbour was born in 1947 in Montreal. Jurist and lawyer, she was a member of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1999 to 2004 and High Commissioner to the United Nations for Human Rights from 2004 to 2008. She was the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from 1996 to 1999. Louise Arbour served as President and CEO of the International Crisis Group in July 2009. She recently completed her term as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, where she served from 2004 to 2008.


fondation Chirac - Louise Arbour, pour son action en faveur de la Justice internationale en Ex-Yougoslavie et au Rwanda (crédits : Jean -Marc Ferre - UN photos)

Louise Arbour, for her efforts in favor of international justice (credit: UNPhoto, Jean-Marc Ferre)

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda were created respectively by resolutions 808 and 955 of 1993 and 1994 of the UN Security Council. Innovative international criminal instruments, they were established to try individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed in those areas.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) prosecutes and judges those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law in the territory of the former Yugoslavia during the wars in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Headquartered in The Hague in the Netherlands, since its first hearing on 8 November 1994, the ICTY has indicted 161 people. At the start of 2011, there were still two indicted individuals who had not yet been arrested. Ratko Mladić, former commander of the Bosnian Serbs, responsible for the 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 people in Srebrenica was arrested on May 26, 2011. The last fugitive, Goran Hadzic, responsible for the Vukovar massacre in November 1991 committed by Serb forces and coldly killing 264 Croats and non-Serbs, was arrested in turn on July 20, 2011.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established November 8, 1994 by the Security Council of the United Nations to try those responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda or by Rwandan citizens in the territory of neighboring States, between January 1st and December 31, 1994. Its headquarters are in Arusha, Tanzania.

From the International Criminal Tribunal to the International Criminal Court.

The creation of the ICC in 1998, was a major step in the development of international justice to prevent mass crimes. The ICC has requested arrest warrants against senior officials in Sudan (Omar El Bechir), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Lord’s Resistance Army), and Libya (Gaddafi).

International criminal justice is still in need of support

Some countries have not yet signed or ratified their participation in the ICC: this is the case of Russia, the United States, Iran, India, China, Pakistan, Israel, and the Arab States (with the exception of Jordan).
Her action in video:

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Programs and actions of the fondation Chirac