President Agius launches third cycle of Mechanism’s Inter-University Video Lecture Programme

The Hague
President Agius launches third cycle of Mechanism’s Inter-University Video Lecture Programme

Judge Carmel Agius, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), today launched the third cycle of the Mechanism’s Inter-University Video Lecture Programme (Programme) with a lecture on the creation and jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). For the first time, postgraduate students from 12 universities across the region of the former Yugoslavia took part in the online event.

The Programme, entitled “International Law and Facts Established before the ICTY”, comprises a series of 16 lectures by a variety of speakers held over several months. It focuses on the region’s recent history, the role and contribution of the ICTY, and principles of international criminal and humanitarian law.

In welcoming the students and professors from the participating faculties, President Agius emphasised how gratifying it is that young people from the region of the former Yugoslavia are actively discussing and engaging with the ICTY’s important legacy. During his lecture, the President provided students with an overview of the history and political context surrounding the ICTY’s establishment, as well as its mandate and jurisdiction. He also shared personal insights into the numerous challenges the ICTY faced during its almost 25 years of existence, based on his experience as a long-serving Judge of the Tribunal and as its final President.

The Programme forms part of the wider Mechanism Information Programme for Affected Communities (MIP). Together with the participating universities, the MIP has created a regional network of law faculties – the first of its kind – where law students from different countries can learn about, and discuss, the work of the ICTY and its legacy. These lectures not only build the students’ knowledge, capacity, and understanding of international criminal law and international humanitarian law, but also serve as a platform for genuine dialogue between law students from the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

The network includes law faculties of the University of Donja Gorica, the University of Niš, the University of Podgorica, the University of Priština, the University of Sarajevo, the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skoplje, the University of Vitez and the University of Zagreb. In addition, this year the Mechanism is very pleased to welcome the Faculty of Political Sciences from Sarajevo University, and law faculties of the University of Split, the Union University Belgrade, and the University of Zenica which have joined the third cycle of the Programme.

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