Dutch lawyer appointed Acting Registrar for UN-backed court in Sierra Leone
The United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), set up to bring to justice those responsible for the worst crimes during the country’s brutal civil war, announced today that it has appointed an experienced Dutch practitioner of international law as its Acting Registrar.
Herman von Hebel, who had been serving as Deputy Registrar since last July, replaces Lovemore Munlo, SC, who is departing after one and a half years at the Special Court.
Before joining the SCSL, Mr. von Hebel worked as a lawyer for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and represented his Government in negotiations on the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He also served as Senior Legal Officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Mr. von Hebel will be Acting Registrar until Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes a decision on a permanent replacement to Mr. Munlo, according to a press statement released by the Court in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital.
The Registry is responsible for the overall administration and management of the SCSL, including its detention facility. It must ensure that witnesses are protected and that the rights of all accused are respected.
An independent tribunal created jointly by the UN and Sierra Leone, the SCSL is tasked with bringing to justice those bearing the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed after 30 November 1996, during the West African nation’s civil war.
So far 11 people have been indicted on various charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of humanitarian law. The Court has jurisdiction over the case against the notorious former Liberian president Charles Taylor, whose trial will be held separately in The Hague in the Netherlands.