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15 March 2001
Joint Statement. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General
Australian Judge Re-elected to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, and the Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, today welcomed the re-election of Australian judge David Hunt to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The election took place at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 14 March. From a field of 25 candidates, 14 judges were to be elected, of which Judge Hunt finished second with 122 votes.
The success of Judge Hunt's candidacy comes soon after the recent election of Australian Professor Ivan Shearer to the UN Human Rights Committee in September 2000.
"Judge Hunt's re-election to the ICTY, in the context of a very competitive field of candidates, demonstrates the high regard which the international community has for Australia 's continuing contribution to the development of international criminal law," said Mr Downer.
Mr Williams said that Judge Hunt's re-election would enable him to continue to make an important contribution to the Tribunal's work in bringing to justice persons who committed gross violations of international law in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991.
Judge Hunt's re-election demonstrates Australia's commitment to the ICTY. His second term on the Tribunal will add to the significant contribution made by Sir Ninian Stephen during his term on the ICTY from 1993 - 1997.
David Hunt, who retired from the NSW Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeal in 1998, was first elected to the ICTY in October 1998. His strong credentials in the field of criminal law and experience as a barrister and a judge with practical courtroom experience enabled him to make a valuable and substantive contribution to the work of the ICTY in his first term. He is currently Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II of the Tribunal, based in The Hague. He has participated in a number of major Tribunal cases including the Aleksovski, Tadic, Simic and Celebici trials, and most recently in the Kunarac, Kovac and Vukovic trial which represents the first conviction by the Tribunal of rape and enslavement as crimes against humanity. His second term of 4 years will commence in November 2001.
Judge Hunt was created an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in January 2000, for service to the judiciary, to the law and to the community, particularly in the areas of criminal law, the law of defamation and international law in defence of human rights.
Media inquiries: Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 62777 500/
Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 2534