Was the ICTY set-up according to principles set down by UN Security Council?
Once UN Security Council Resolution 827 had been approved, the US took full control of the process to establish the ICTY. The team charged with getting the Court up and running was almost exclusively made up of Americans. No account was taken of requirements set down by the Security Council to ensure impartiality and fairness. Even the clear instruction that the ICTY should enforce only existing international humanitarian law, voiced by many of the members of the Security Council and explicitly re-stated by UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali in his summary of the debate, was totally ignored.
Boutros Ghali was well aware of what was happening but the UN did little or nothing to stop this happening. It seems likely that the Secretary General protested vigorously behind the scenes about this and other matters, but all that this led to was a US veto of his reappointment for a second term – the only UN General Secretary to suffer this fate. Unsurprisingly, his successors were far more amenable. When the ICTY formally closed its doors at the end of 2017, the present UN general Secretary, Antonio Gutteres, was happy to praise the ICTY for being “a pioneer in creating the contemporary architecture of international criminal justice”. In reality all the UN had done was to allow the careful and precise laws set down after World War Two to be replaced by laws based on vague and amorphous concepts such as “atrocity crimes” and “Joint Criminal Enterprise”. This enabled the ICTY to convict anyone it wanted to without the need to produce compelling evidence or follow due process.