International Judicial Monitor
Published by the International Judicial Academy, Washington, D.C., with assistance from the
American Society of International Law

Winter 2015 Issue

Justice In Profile


Judge Carmel Agius (Malta), Vice-President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Member, Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Judge Carmel Agius

By: Maria Chhubria, Director of Academic Programs, International Judicial Academy

The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugosavia (ICTY) is a United Nations court established to investigate and prosecute war crimes that occurred during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990’s. Similarly, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was created to prosecute individuals “who planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of” genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rwanda and its neighboring territories between January 1 and December 31, 1994. Both tribunals have three main organs: the Chambers; the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP); and the Registry. The Chambers are composed of three Trial Chambers and one Appeals Chamber.

The ICTY has attracted distinguished judges from other countries to serve as judges for the many trials that have been brought before the Tribunal, and the appeals that have resulted from those trials. One of those distinguished judges is Judge Carmel Agius from Malta. Judge Agius currently serves as Vice-President of the ICTY and is also a member of the Appeals Chamber of both the ICTY and the ICTR.

He was first appointed as a judge of the ICTY in 2001. Between 2003 and 2010, Judge Agius presided over Trial Chamber II of the ICTY, overseeing the Brdjanin, Oric and Popovic trials. On behalf of the ICTY, he coordinated the drafting of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. This Mechanism was later accepted by the UN Security Council and adopted by the judges of the Mechanism. In 2011 he was selected as a judge of the Mechanism.


Prior to joining the ICTY and ICTR, in 1969 Judge Angius began his legal career as a lawyer in Malta. In 1977, he was appointed Magistrate of the Maltese Court of Magistrates, then Senior Judge of the Court of Appeal. In 1982 he was elevated to the Constitutional Court of Malta. Judge Angius also represented the Maltese government in various capacities at certain UN meetings, including the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and the United Nations Congresses on Crime Prevention and the Treatment of Offenders.

In 1998, Judge Angius was Acting Head of Delegation and Adviser of the Government of Malta at the United Nations Plenipotentiary Conference on the International Criminal Court in Rome where he actively participated in the negotiations and signed the final document on behalf of Malta. Between 1999 and 2008, Judge Agius served as a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. In 1999, he was Consultant to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights and Criminal Procedure in a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Judge Angius was born in 1945 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Italian, and Economics from the University of Malta. Subsequently, he obtained his LL.D. from the same university. From 1996 to 1999, he was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Malta, and between 1998 and 2004, he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights published by the Foundation for International Studies and the Faculty of Law of the University of Malta. Between 1989 and 2001, Judge Agius was the representative of the Maltese Judiciary on the Central Council of the International Association of Judges.

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© 2015 – The International Judicial Academy
with assistance from the American Society of International Law.

Editor: James G. Apple.
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