The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) yesterday welcomed over 400 members of the public to its premises as part of The Hague International Open Day, organized by the Municipality of The Hague.

Judge Burton Hall opened the event on behalf of the President of the Mechanism and provided an overview of the Mechanism’s mandate and ongoing activities. In his remarks, Judge Hall highlighted the Mechanism’s vital role in carrying out the remaining work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), including the completion of the remaining judicial work inherited from the ICTR and the ICTY, and talked about the unique work undertaken by international judges. Visitors were further welcomed to the Mechanism by its President, Judge Theodor Meron, through a video-taped greeting.

The Mechanism’s Registrar, Mr. Olufemi Elias, also gave a presentation on the diverse work of the Registry of an international court, including the facilitation of the courtroom proceedings, supporting and protecting some 7,000 ICTR, ICTY and Mechanism witnesses, translating thousands of documents, and providing assistance to national judiciaries prosecuting war crimes cases in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere. The visitors were further able to engage with the Mechanism’s senior staff and learn more about the ongoing work and functions of the different sections of the Mechanism.

Throughout the day, the visitors had an opportunity to attend guided courtroom tours, screenings of in-house documentaries on the work of the ICTY and view exhibitions featuring selected artefacts from the archives of the ICTR and the ICTY.

The Hague International Open Day is an annual event which aims to provide the general public with an opportunity to learn more about the functions and broader aims of various international organizations based in The Hague.