In a plenary session held on 10 April 2013 at The Hague, Netherlands, Judge Vagn Joensen (Denmark) was re-elected, by acclamation, to continue his service as President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for a second term commencing 27 May 2013. Judge Joensen was first elected in February 2012 to serve the remainder of the Presidential term vacated by Judge Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan) upon the latter’s redeployment to the Appeals Chamber.
Judge Joensen joined the Tribunal in May 2007 as ad litem Judge and member of Trial Chamber III. Before joining the Tribunal, Judge Joensen was a judge at the Danish High Court, Eastern Division, in Copenhagen since 1994 and served as an international judge in Kosovo for UNMIK from 2001 to 2002.
Born in 1950, Judge Joensen obtained a Master of Law in 1973 at the University of Aarhus, and has studied at the City of London College and Harvard Law School. Judge Joensen served in the Danish Ministry of Justice until he was appointed a Judge at the City Court of Copenhagen in 1982, and he had been teaching constitutional, criminal and civil law at the Law Faculty of the University of Aarhus and of the University of Copenhagen. Judge Joensen has been the Chairperson of the Tribunal’s Rules Committee since its inception in 2007, and was Vice-President of the Tribunal from August 2011 until February 2012. He was elected as a judge of the successor to the ICTR and ICTY, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, in December 2011 and has served as Duty Judge for its Arusha Branch since 2 July 2012.