Among international mobilization for 2015 International Women’s Day, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has decided to seize the opportunity to “reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”
The ICTY released today a short video in which ICTY President Theodor Meron and representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor and the Registry highlight the Tribunal’s ground-breaking work on the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of crimes of sexual and gender-based violence.
“For many centuries, rape and other forms of sexual violence committed in the context of armed conflict were often seen as an inevitable and even legitimate by-product of war,” said President Meron. “Now, however, and thanks in great part to the work of the Tribunal, such brutal and appalling acts are seen for what they are: alleged crimes, for which accountability can and must be sought. This represents a remarkable achievement not just for the ICTY but for women and men of conscience everywhere.”
In the press release accompanying the video, it is reminded that almost half of the cases at the Tribunal have dealt with instances of sexual and gender-based violence — mainly, but not exclusively, against women. In the context of these cases, the Tribunal’s Judges have issued a number of landmark rulings, including rulings recognising the crime of rape may constitute a form of torture (Prosecutor v. Mucić et al.) and sexual enslavement may constitute a crime against humanity (Prosecutor v. Kunarac et al.).
The ICTY has also set key practical and procedural precedents related to the treatment of victims of sexual and gender-based violence. The ICTY’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, for example, do not require corroboration of the testimony of a victim of sexual violence. Consent is not recognised if the circumstances in which it was given are deemed coercive by the Judges. In addition, protective measures – such as protection of name, face and voice, or closed session testimony – are used to protect victims’ identity.
The ADC-ICTY is organising an Advocacy Training with Michael G. Karnavas on “Evidence and Objections – direct & cross-examination” on Saturday 28 March 2015 at the ICTY. The training will be held in the press room and will last from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm.
The registration fee for ADC interns, staff and members is 15 Euros, for external participants 25 Euros. To register, please send an email to: email@example.com
The ADC-ICTY Legacy Conference took place on Friday 29 November 2013 in The Hague.
The keynote speech was delivered by H.E. Judge Theodor Meron, ICTY President. Speakers and moderators included The Right Hon. Lord Iain Bonomy, Judge Bakone Justice Moloto, Judge Howard Morrison, as well as renowned Defence Counsel.
The ADC-ICTY has published the conference proceedings in the form of a Legacy Conference Publication in 2015. The publication contains the transcripts of the conference as well as additional articles and is available here.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Today, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) completed its largest case to date. The Appeals Chamber issued its Judgment in the Popović et al case, upholding the convictions of five senior Bosnian Serbian military officials for crimes perpetrated by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995 following the takeover of the protected areas of Srebrenica and Žepa.
The case concerned crimes committed in July 1995 after the fall of Srebrenica and Žepa in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Trial proceedings involved a total of seven accused, who were convicted for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of wars, in part through several Joint Criminal Enterprises. Five of the accused appealed to the judgment of the Trial Chamber. Continue reading
On Saturday 8 November 2014, the Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY) is organising its annual training for members. Due to the large success of the Legacy Conference last year, this year’s training will also be open to external participants. The training will focus on the important topic of “Ethics” and will feature three panel discussions on ethical issues during pre-trial, trial and appeal. Participants may also obtain a certificate for continuing legal education (CLE) purposes.
The training will take place at the Bel Air Hotel in The Hague and will be an all-day event from 9:00 to 17:00. All participants are invited to the annual party at Hudson’s Bar and Kitchen afterwards.
The training is free of charge. There are limited places available and to register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and current place of employment/study.
A detailed programme of the training is available here.
ICTY’s Vice-President Carmel Agius during the opening ceremony
Last month, the SENSE News agency has inaugurated the Srebrenica Documentation Center. The purpose of the Center is to show how the events in July 1995 in Srebrenica were investigated, reconstructed and prosecuted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Members of the many victims’ associations such as the Mothers of Srebrenica, political representatives from BH, the diplomatic corps and non-governmental organizations from Sarajevo, Zagreb, Belgrade, Podgorica and entire region were present at the opening ceremony. The opening attracted a lot of media interest.
Various representatives addressed the audience. Amongst them, the speech of the ICTY’s vice-president Carmel Agius caused a great deal of interest. The Maltese judge sees the opening of the Center as an important aspect of the Tribunal’s legacy and the best way to present the Tribunal’s work and to put the archives from The Hague to use. Continue reading
The Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) has published its newsletter no. 75.
This edition covers the recent cases in Prlić et al., the Defence cases in Mladić and Hadžić and the final briefs in Karadžić. In Karadžić, after the Trial Chamber denied the
Defence motion to strike the Prosecution’s final brief, the case is now reaching its final stages. The Defence closing arguments will be held from 29 September to 2 October and will be followed by the rebuttal and rejoinder arguments on 7 October, with an expected verdict in October 2015.
The newsletter looks back at various decisions or judgments rendered years ago by the ICC, the ICTR and the ICTY but keeps us up to date as well with the current proceedings in front of the Bosnian Constitutional Court, Croatian courts and the ICC in the Gbagbo case. The newsletter also provides an analysis on the Role and Future of Extremists Groups in the Region in relation to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) has published its newsletter no. 74.
This edition covers the recent Defence cases in Mladić and Hadžić and the proceedings in Prlić et al.. In Hadžić, the ICTY Trial Chamber heard the Defence witnesses, including Goran Šehovac, a Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) soldier and military policeman, Ratko Adžić, President of Ilijas municipality, Milorad Bukva Head of the Security Department in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps (SRK), Milenko Inđić, VRS Liaison Officer for Cooperation with International Organisations, Boško Gvozden, former Commander of the Gradiška Light Infantry Brigade of the VRS, and Radovan Glogovac, Vice-President of the local Serbian Democratic Party.
The newsletter provides analysis on two high-level discussions organized by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in collaboration with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) on “The Use of Military Evidence in Counter-Terrorism” and with the Grotius Centre and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) on “Illegal Armed Force as a Crime against Humanity”.
The newsletter looks back at various decisions or judgments rendered years ago by the STL, the ICTY and the ICTR but keeps us up to date as well with the current proceedings in front of the Bosnian Constitutional Court, the ICC and the ECCC.
The Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) has published its newsletter no. 73.
This edition covers the recent Defence cases in Mladić and Hadžić and the proceedings in Stanišić & Župljanin where the ICTY Appeals Chamber dismissed the motion that called for reconsideration of the Appeals decision based on the alleged direct correlation of the Šešelj Decision regarding Judge Harhoff.
The newsletter provides a copy of the memorandum sent by the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (OPCD) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in response to a proposal from the ICC’s Registry to restructure. A proposed argument of interpretation of drones in the legal context is also provided.
The newsletter looks back at various decisions or judgments rendered years ago by the ECCC, the ICTR and the ICTY but keeps us up to date as well with the current proceedings in front of the ICC, the STL and the ECCC.
Milan Martic (right) with General Radovan Karadzic (left) in 1994 (c) BBC News
On Monday, a court in Zagreb, Croatia, issued a European Arrest Warrant demanding the extradition of Serbian General Milan “Mile” Martic to stand trial in Croatia for shelling the towns of Karlovac and Jastebarsko near Zagreb in May 1995. During the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Martic was interior minister, defence minister and president of the self-proclaimed Autonomous Region of Krajina located in the south of Croatia near the Bosnian border.
Martic is currently in Estonia serving a 35-year sentence of imprisonment for war crimes committed against non-Serbs in Croatia for which he was convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2007. The ICTY concluded that Martic’s activities resulted in the expulsion of all Croatians and non-Serbs from the areas which were under his control.
Croatia had originally indicted Martic for war crimes in 2003 alongside Serbian military leader Milan Celeketic. However, authorities did not decide to proceed with the case against Martic until 2010 when it became clear that the ICTY would not prosecute Martic for the shelling of the towns.
Estonian authorities have requested time to consider the possibility of handing over Martic. Croatian authorities have indicated that the trial will go ahead regardless of the decision of
the Estonian authorities.