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Croatian students discuss ICTY practice in adjudicating genocide

Zagreb, 8 and 9 May 2014

Thomas Wayde Pittman, a Senior Legal Officer from the Tribunal’s Chambers, travelled to Zagreb, Croatia, where he delivered two lectures – one at the Dag Hammarskjöld School of International Relations and Diplomacy and the other at the Zagreb University Law Faculty. In total, more than 70 students had the opportunity to learn more about the ICTY practice in adjudicating genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Both lectures were received with a great deal of interest from the students. After a general introduction to the ICTY’s work and practice, Thomas focused his presentation on war crimes, using them as a point of comparison for his explanations of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Following the presentations, the students had numerous questions. One student asked about possible sanctions that can be placed on countries that do not cooperate with the ICTY. Thomas explained that according to the ICTY’s statute, states are obliged to cooperate with the ICTY in the investigation and prosecution of persons accused of committing serious violations of international humanitarian law. He explained further that in a case of non-cooperation, the Chamber first attempts to resolve the issue with the state in question, and that in a worst case scenario, non-cooperation would be a matter for the President to raise with the UN Security Council.

Student Fran Kušeta praised the lecture he attended, saying that it had given excellent insights into the type of cases dealt with by the ICTY. He added: “The lecturer explained extremely abstract terms by placing them in the context of the Tribunal’s daily work. As a result, I have learned a great deal about the ICTY.”