MIP successfully concludes third cycle of its Inter-University Video Lecture Programme

The Hague
MIP successfully concludes third cycle of its Inter-University Video Lecture Programme

The third cycle of the Mechanism’s Inter-University Video Lecture Programme (Programme), concluded on 31 March 2022 with a lecture delivered by Mr. Ivan Jovanović, Chief Technical Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Centre for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Mr. Jovanović spoke about the role of the ICTY and the Mechanism in the processing of war crimes cases before judiciaries in the region of the former Yugoslavia.

The Programme, titled “International Law and Facts Established before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)”, brings together postgraduate students from 12 law and political science faculties across the former Yugoslavia in order to initiate a dialogue about the region’s recent history, the role of the ICTY and the principles of international criminal law and international humanitarian law.

As with previous cycles of the Programme, the third cycle consisted of a series of lectures held over a six-month period, during which participating students learned about the ICTY’s legacy and jurisprudence from legal experts, including current Principals, Judges and staff members of the Mechanism.

The President of the Mechanism, Judge Carmel Agius, launched the third cycle of the Programme in October 2021 with a lecture on the ICTY’s establishment and jurisdiction. Current Mechanism Judge and former ICTY Judge Alphons Orie presented a lecture soon afterwards on the role of Judges at the ICTY. Mechanism Registrar, Mr. Abubacarr Tambadou, also participated in the series, delivering a lecture on the role and functions of the Mechanism.

In addition, the following Mechanism staff members took part in the lecture series:

  • Laurel Baig, Senior Appeals Counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor gave a lecture on the work and mandate of the Office;
  • Emiliya Viktorova, Legal Officer in the Chambers Legal Support Section, introduced students to the contributions of the ICTY and Mechanism to the development of international law;
  • Evangelia Sarikaki, former Associate Legal Officer in the Chambers Legal Support Section, gave a lecture on the notion of joint criminal enterprise in the ICTY’s jurisprudence;
  • Sarah Melikian, Legal Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor, delivered a lecture on destruction of cultural heritage;
  • Paul Mavin, Head of the Witness Support and Protection Unit, and Helena Vranov Schoorl, Associate Witness Support and Protection Officer, spoke about support to victims and witnesses appearing before the ICTY and Mechanism;
  • Morag Fyfe, General Archivist in the Mechanism Archives and Records Section, presented a lecture on the importance of ICTY and Mechanism archival material;
  • Anisa Sućeska, MIP Coordinator for Youth Outreach, introduced students to the Mechanism’s court records database and how to access and use its resource materials; and
  • Rada Pejić-Sremac, MIP Coordinator, talked about the lasting importance of the outreach programmes of the ICTY and Mechanism.

Lectures in the third cycle were also delivered by:

  • Marie O'Leary, President of the Association of Defence Counsel Practising before the International Courts and Tribunals, who explained safeguarding the rights of the accused and the right to self-representation;
  • Gregory Townsend, lecturer in law and former ICTY staff member, who talked about the prosecution of wartime sexual violence at the ICTY; and
  • Carsten Stahn, Professor of International Criminal Law and Global Justice at Leiden Law School and Programme Director of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies in The Hague, who spoke about genocide in the ICTY and ICTR jurisprudence and the prosecution of genocide before the ad hoc

More than 120 postgraduate students took part in the third cycle of the Programme via videoconference, including law students from the Union University in Belgrade, the University of Donja Gorica, the University of Niš, the University of Podgorica, the University of Priština, the University of Sarajevo – Law Faculty and Faculty of Political Sciences, the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skoplje, the University of Split, the University of Vitez, the University of Zagreb and the University of Zenica.

Near the conclusion of the third cycle, students from the participating universities collaborated on an exciting new component of the Programme, where they prepared shared presentations on several topics including “Developing International Law”, “Processing Crimes of Sexual Violence” and “Joint Criminal Enterprise - JCE”. During their presentations, the students discussed the most important achievements of the ICTY, as well as its legacy and influence on the local judiciaries.

The fourth cycle of the Programme is anticipated to start in October of this year, with lectures delivered on a weekly basis until the end of March 2023. In the coming period, the Mechanism’s engagement with university students and lecturers will continue to focus on expanding and strengthening the network of law faculties from the region of the former Yugoslavia. These faculties will participate in a future series of joint video lectures and complementary activities.

The Programme is part of the broader MIP, launched in January 2019, which aims to contribute to increased awareness and knowledge among affected communities about the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia based on the ICTY and Mechanism cases. The MIP is generously supported by the European Union and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.