Novi Sad, 15 May 2014
For the first time since the Outreach Youth Project was started, representatives of the Tribunal visited the Law Faculty of Novi Sad University, where Ljiljana Hellman, from the ICTY’s Registry gave a lecture for about thirty students and members of the European Law Students Association (ELSA) on the topics of command responsibility and adjudicating the crime of genocide before the Tribunal.
During the lecture, Ljiljana explained the basic legal principles and the way in which ICTY operates in trials which include charges of genocide and command responsibility for crimes. During the discussion which ensued, the students were most interested in how and based on what evidence the existence of intent to commit genocide is established in the Tribunal’s practice.
The students were also interested in the reasons for the acquittal of Croatian general Ante Gotovina, who was tried on charges relating to crimes committed against the Serb civilian population in Croatia, and why the Tribunal had found no one else guilty of those crimes. The students received a very detailed explanation of the judgement in Gotovina’s case and they were informed that the Tribunal had definitively established that crimes had been committed and that their perpetrators could be tried before courts in the region of the former Yugoslavia.
At the end of the lecture, representatives of ELSA noted that the students mostly receive information about the Tribunal and war crimes indirectly, from local media, and that this is the main reason for their low levels of knowledge and understanding of the practice, but also for their emotional views of the ICTY. They thanked the Outreach Programme for organising the lecture and expressed a wish for a continuation of the cooperation between the ICTY and their institution in the coming school year, stressing the importance of the students getting accurate first-hand information about the Tribunal from people who have actually been involved in its judicial proceedings.