Antonio Cassese

Antonio Cassese

Antonio Cassese was the first President of the International Criminal Tribunal For the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), serving in this capacity from 1993 to 1997. In October of 2004, Cassese was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to be the Chairperson for the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur.

This Commission was to investigate potential international and human rights violations taking place in Darfur, and to determine whether or not acts of genocide had occurred. On January 25, 2005, the Commission issued its "Report to the Secretary-General." The Commission found that while there was evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the government of Sudan had not committed acts of genocide. This finding was contrary to the position of the United States, which had already labeled the Government's activities as "genocide." The Commission recommended the U.N. Security Council use its referral power under the Rome Statute to refer the Darfur case to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. This recommendation was expected from the Commission, as Cassese was known to be an ardent supporter of the International Criminal Court. In March of 2005, the U.N. Security Council acted upon the ICC recommendation and used its referral power for the first time to refer the Darfur case to the ICC.

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