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ICTY Outreach joins war crimes reporting seminar

Belgrade, 22-23 October 2013

The ICTY’s Outreach representative in Belgrade, Morgiana Brading, recently took part in a seminar that gathered together more than 40 judges and prosecutors from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Serbia, as well as a number of regional journalists.

The two-day event looked at the challenges involved in reporting on war crimes trials and at how best to foster about cooperation between prosecutors, courts and the media. Within this context, Morgiana spoke about the Tribunal's Outreach Programme, from its earliest days to the shape it takes today.

The judges and prosecutors discussed their own practices with regard to communicating with the media, outlining the challenges and restrictions that sometimes made cooperation difficult. Court spokespeople also discussed their roles and the functions of their institutions’ outreach programmes, which they described as the key link between the legal processes, the media and the wider public.

While it was agreed by everyone present that it was important to keep the general public informed about war crimes trials, some differences as to how this could most effectively be achieved were apparent. Each side - the legal professionals and the journalists – laid out their professional obligations and limitations, and then both sides worked toward finding common ground in order to fulfill what they saw as their joint responsibility to the process of reconciliation.