The Hague, 26 September 2014
International NGO ‘Impunity Watch’ organised today an expert meeting which dealt with issues related to the possibilities and limitations of social impact that international criminal tribunals can have in countries most affected by their work. The ICTY Outreach hosted the meeting and welcomed the participants from the International Criminal Court, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several representatives of relevant Dutch and international NGO’s. On behalf of the ICTY, representatives of the President’s Office, Office of the Prosecutor, Victims and Witnesses Section and the Outreach programme took part in the debates.
Impunity Watch Consultant, Njonjo Mue, presented his discussion paper which explores the ways in which international criminal justice can better serve the needs and interests of victims and affected communities through outreach programmes. This issue was then debated from the perspective of different organs of international tribunals, as well as from the point of view of civil society organisations. The discussion focused on the best practices and lessons learnt from the Outreach programmes of international tribunals, but also explored the possibilities for improving complementary effects of international criminal justice and other transitional justice mechanisms. One of the goals of the meeting was to provide policy input on enhancing the impact of international criminal justice in post-conflict societies and, in particular, among the victims’ communities.
The discussion highlighted the importance of implementing improved outreach practices and policies, including effective entry and exit strategies, as well as establishing better integration between international and domestic legal systems, to achieve more long-term and sustainable results in establishing accountability for war crimes.
This was the second meeting of the kind organised by the Impunity Watch, while a bigger conference on the same topic is planned to be held in The Hague in 2015.