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Croatian law students discuss the work of the Tribunal

Zagreb, 24 April 2013

Over sixty students from the law faculty of Zagreb University today joined faculty professors and representatives of local NGOs to listen to a lecture delivered by Alexandros Zervos, deputy chef de cabinet of the ICTY president.

Alexandros opened his presentation with an introduction to the ICTY, talking about the creation of the Tribunal, its jurisdiction, structure and work; he then addressed some of the Tribunals major judgements and achievements, and also discussed some of the criticisms occasionally levelled at the ICTY.

The students were particularly interested to hear about the practices and principles of the ICTY’s sentencing policies, with one asking about the way in which judges decide on the length of sentence when their opinions on the matter differ. Alexandros explained that the judges deliberate in private, taking into account the gravity of the offence, the individual circumstances of the convicted person, any aggravating or mitigating circumstances, and the general practice regarding prison sentences in the courts of the former Yugoslavia,  and then impose an appropriate sentence that reflects the totality of the criminal conduct of the accused.

Other questions from the students focussed on the United Nations Detention Unit, where accused are held during their trials, and about wider issues of international law relating to conflicts currently happening around the world.

One of the professors in attendance, Maja Munivrana-Vajda, praised Alexandros’s presentation and expressed the hope that the excellent cooperation between her faculty and the Outreach programme – which she said was of great benefit to Zagreb’s law students - would continue.