THE International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) has announced the death of Mechanism Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam of Burkina Faso.
Kam was sworn-in as a Judge of the Mechanism in May 2012 and served with distinction on several important matters, including the review in the case of Augustin Ngirabatware, and, most recently, the appeal in the case of Ratko Mladić.
Judge Kam was at the forefront of international criminal law for many years. In 2003, he was elected by the UN General Assembly as an ad litem judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he served for nearly a decade.
Between 2015 and 2016, Judge Kam presided over the Trial Chamber in the ground breaking case against former Chadian president Hissène Habré before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal.
Earlier in his career, Judge Kam participated in drafting the Statute, Rules and Regulations of the International Criminal Court as a member of the Burkina Faso delegation to the preparatory meetings which preceded the Court's creation.
Judge Kam passed away on February 17, 2021. He will be remembered by colleagues and staff for his professionalism, dedication, and kindness.
“It is with great sadness that I learn of Judge Kam’s death. His commitment to justice and human rights is evident from his long and distinguished career.
The passing of Judge Kam is a great loss to the Mechanism as well as to the international legal community as a whole,” said Judge Carmel Agius, President of the Mechanism.
In honour of Judge Kam, the Mechanism is flying the UN flag at half-mast at both of its branches in The Hague and Arusha.
A virtual book of condolences for Judge Kam will be open for signatures at the branches effective from Friday until March, 2021.
Alternatively, messages of condolence are being sent to the Office of the President.
The Mechanism)was established by UN Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) to complete the remaining work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which closed in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
The Mechanism has two branches, one in Arusha, Tanzania, and one in The Hague, Netherlands.