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Belgrade students learn about self-representation and rights of the accused

Belgrade |

As part of the Tribunal’s Youth Outreach Project, Viktorija Taseva, Legal Advisor at the ICTY Registry gave two lectures on the topic “Self-representation and safeguarding the rights of the accused - ICTY rules, practice and experience” to some 100 students of two Belgrade law schools, namely the Law faculty of UNION University and the Law faculty of Belgrade University.

The first lecture took place on 19 May at UNION University. Attending students and professors showed great interest in the topic, asking questions about the modalities of self-representation and how it affects the defence case.

Later that day, Ms Taseva spoke to the members of the Forum for Diplomacy and International Relations of the Law faculty of the University of Belgrade. The audience comprised final year and postgraduate law students, as well as students of the Police Academy, Academy for Diplomacy, and visiting students from other faculties of the Belgrade University. Those in attendance were interested in knowing more about the motives of defendants to represent themselves in a trial, and the specific measures the ICTY Registry can take to accommodate such cases.

Students from both universities were curious about whether it is better for a defendant to be represented by counsel or to represent himself. This sparked a debate about whether self-representing defendants as well as lawyers from the continental legal system are disadvantaged before the Tribunal compared to those coming from the common law tradition.

After the lectures, teaching staff and students at both universities commended the Outreach Programme’s initiative in organising the lectures and expressed interest in continuing cooperation with the Outreach Programme over the course of the coming academic year.