Just Peace

The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (the Mechanism) is a United Nations organization tasked with completing outstanding cases of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and with carrying out some of their long-term functions, such as the protection of witnesses and the preservation of its archives.

On 20 September 2020, the Mechanism will virtually open its doors to the public. Apart from live interactive sessions, the majority of tailored events and content will remain publicly available on our dedicated webpage and Facebook page for the entire duration of the Just Peace month. It will also be available on the dedicated webpage of the City of The Hague.

This year’s virtual visit to the Mechanism will offer the opportunity to learn more about the history of landmark cases on genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, as well as the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The Mechanism has two branches: one in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, and one in The Hague. At The Hague branch, the Mechanism is primarily concerned with tasks inherited from the ICTY, while the Arusha branch continues the tasks inherited from the ICTR. The ICTY and the ICTR were the first two UN international criminal tribunals established to prosecute persons considered responsible for the most serious crimes that took place during the 1990s conflicts in the Balkans and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Established in 1993 and the 1994, respectively, the ICTY and the ICTR irreversibly changed the landscape of international criminal and humanitarian law and ushered in a new era where it is no longer a question whether individuals who commit grave crimes should be held criminally responsible.

Having completed their mandates in 2015 (ICTR) and 2017 (ICTY), they handed over their remaining tasks to the Mechanism.

In carrying out its functions, including completing the remaining cases inherited from the two Tribunals, tracking the remaining fugitives, protecting witnesses, preserving the archives and assisting national jurisdictions, the Mechanism maintains the legacies of these two pioneering ad hoc international tribunals and strives to reflect best practices in the field of international criminal justice.

Appeal proceedings in the ICTY-related case of Ratko Mladić, as well as a retrial in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, among other judicial matters, are currently ongoing at the Mechanism’s Hague branch. At the Arusha branch, in addition to the ongoing contempt proceedings in the Turinabo et al, case, the transfer of the recently arrested fugitive, Félicien Kabuga, by the French authorities for trial in Arusha is also expected in due course.