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Britain's Generous Gift

The UK's new Labour government is rapidly confirming its strong support for the Tribunal, in deeds as well as words.

If the previous British Conservative government could be characterised as Tribunal sceptic, the new Labour government could already be called Tribunal enthusiastic. First it lifted the ban imposed by the Conservatives on the handing over of intelligence data to the Tribunal's investigators; then British commando troops serving with SFOR arrested the first of those accused of war crimes in the Prijedor area; finally, it was announced last week that Great Britain would contribute £330,000 to cover the cost of constructing an interim courtroom for the Tribunal.

Thanks to the British Government's offer, described by President Antonio Cassese as an "outstandingly generous gift", the Tribunal will have a valuable new facility. This interim courtroom will enable the Tribunal to proceed with all the current and anticipated trials with a minimum of delay. On behalf of the Tribunal, President Cassese "commends the British Government for its unequivocal support to the ICTY in the discharge of its mandate and for making the enforcement of international humanitarian law a major aspect of its human rights policy."

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