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The World | IN BRIEF/ THE NETHERLANDS

18 Judges Seated on New International Court

March 12, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Eighteen judges gathered in The Hague and took their seats on the world's first permanent war crimes court, a long-awaited body backed by 89 countries but boycotted by the United States.

The International Criminal Court was inaugurated in a grand 13th century hall in the presence of the Netherlands' Queen Beatrix.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the jurists "the embodiment of our collective consciences."

The judges are charged with prosecuting war criminals, denying shelter to leaders deemed responsible for criminal acts and deterring others from atrocities.

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