Press Releases

    SG/SM/9401
                                                                                                                            2 July 2004

    Secretary-General Deeply Saddened by Death of Sir Richard May, Former Judge on International Tribunal

    NEW YORK, 1 July (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General was deeply saddened to learn of the death early this morning of Sir Richard May, former judge of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

    Sir Richard served as a presiding judge of the International Tribunal, from November 1997 until his retirement in May this year.

    Both through his work in the courtroom -- most famously, as presiding judge in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic -- as well as through his work behind the scenes as Chair of the Tribunal's Rules Committee, Sir Richard played a major role in helping to ensure that the International Tribunal developed from a simple idea in a Security Council resolution into a fully functioning and effective criminal court.

    His extensive knowledge of criminal law and of the law of criminal evidence and criminal procedure proved an invaluable asset to the Tribunal and was instrumental in helping it to build up a body of jurisprudence that has earned the respect of scholars and practitioners of international law throughout the world.

    Sir Richard leaves behind him a fond memory among all who knew him.  But he has also left us something more:  a gift of hope that those whose deeds offend the conscience of humankind may no more go unpunished and that, in the affairs of men and women of all nations, the rule of law may ultimately prevail.

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