Italian law professor Fausto Pocar was the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia's President until 16 November 2008. He was elected to that position by his fellow judges on 17 November 2005. He had previously served as the Vice-President between March 2003 and November 2005. Judge Pocar has been a Tribunal judge since 1 February 2000, re-elected twice by the UN General Assembly in 2001 and 2005.
Judge Pocar is Professor of International Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Milan, where he has also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and as the Vice-Rector. He is the author of numerous publications on International Law, including human rights and humanitarian law, Private International Law and European Law. He has lectured at The Hague Academy of International Law and is a member and treasurer of the Institut de Droit International, as well as a member of several other international law associations.
Judge Pocar has a long standing experience in UN activities, in particular in the field of human rights and humanitarian law. He has served for 16 years (1984-2000) as a member of the Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has been its Chairman (1991-92) and Rapporteur (1989-90). Further, he was appointed Special Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for visits to Chechnya and the Russian Federation during the 1995-6 conflict.
He has also chaired the informal working group that drafted, within the Commission on Human Rights, the Declaration on the rights of people belonging to national or ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, that was adopted in 1992 by the General Assembly. He has also been for a decade the Italian delegate to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its Legal Subcommittee.
Since his appointment to the ICTY, Judge Pocar has served first as a Judge in a Trial Chamber, where he sat on the first case concerned with rape as a crime against humanity, and later in the Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal, where he is still sitting. As a Judge of the Appeals Chamber, he is also a Judge of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). On appeal, he has participated in the adoption of the final judgments in several ICTY and ICTR cases, heard both at The Hague and in Arusha, Tanzania.