Subject: LUSA: Local Judges Boycott Human Rights Courts in Contract Dispute

16 Jan 02 11:51 East Timor: Local Judges Boycott Human Rights Courts in Contract Dispute

East Timorese judges responsible trying crimes against humanity have launched a boycott of court proceedings over a contractual dispute with the UN transition administration, judicial sources told Lusa Wednesday.

The judges, who serve with UN-appointed foreign colleagues on Special Panels for Serious Crimes, refused to begin hearings scheduled for Wednesday until they are assured of tenure.

Initially appointed by UN administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello to two-year terms, the judges were displeased when their expiring contracts were only extended one year on Jan.7.

The judges argue that under UNTAET regulations they should either receive life-tenure or be dismissed after their initial service of two years.

SAS -Lusa-

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