Sarajevo, 27 February 2015
Almir Alić, ICTY Registry Liaison Officer in BiH, today gave a lecture on “Guilty Pleas before the ICTY” to participants of the project “Western Balkans – Model International Criminal Court”. A group of 30 students from Belgrade, Zagreb and Sarajevo, had the opportunity to be introduced to the contractual nature of plea agreements, relevant ICTY rules and details of 20 Tribunal cases where the accused pleaded guilty.
The students took active part in the lecture and asked numerous questions about the appropriateness of the guilty plea mechanism in the context of trials relating to serious violations of international humanitarian law. The participants also wanted to know more about its pros and cons in terms of providing satisfaction to the victims and respecting the right of the accused to fair trial.
Rajka Lozo, student of the Zagreb Law Faculty found the lecture very useful and added that she received first-hand information about the practice of plea agreements and facts established in those cases.
After the presentation, Samir Arnautović, Vice Rector of the Sarajevo University, expressed his wish for the continuation of cooperation with the ICTY Outreach Programme by organising similar presentations for Sarajevo University students.
The project “Western Balkans – Model International Criminal Court” is implemented jointly by the organisations HERMES (Zagreb, Croatia), Open Communication (Belgrade, Serbia) and Humanity in Action Foundation (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina), and it gives an opportunity to high school and university students to take on the role of prosecutors, defence attorneys and judges, and to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the lectures and trainings in a mock trial.
Following the successful cooperation in the high school component of the project, this lecture marked the beginning of cooperation of the ICTY’s Outreach Programme in the university component of the project.