I have exactly the same issue - look at the bug 430499 (https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=430499) to see all the debug logs of apache and of the console.
The bug appears each time you configure the administration server to use the secure connection to the Directory Server configuration server (the file adm.conf contains ldapurl: ldaps://ldap-model.polytechnique.fr:636/o=NetscapeRoot).
If you change the adm.conf (or use the console to do that) to ldapurl: ldap://ldap-model.polytechnique.fr:389/o=NetscapeRoot everything works fine again (no java exception, the certificate window opens correctly).
And the bug has nothing to do with java vendor - i have tested it for serveral versions, vendors and OS...
So i think that's what you have changed during the last couple of weeks :)
This is with FDS 1.1 on CentOS 5 with Sun's java. I'm no longer able to
open the "Manage certificates" task in the management console for my
directory server. I get the following exception. This worked a couple
of weeks ago when I fist set up the server, so I'm not sure what would
Exception in thread "AWT-EventQueue-0" java.lang.NullPointerException
at com.netscape.admin.dirserv.task.KeyCert.run(Unknown Source)
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