Split, 29 October 2014
For the first time since the Youth Outreach Project was launched a representative of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) took the role of the lecturer and gave a talk to the students of the Law Faculty of Split University, Croatia. Elena Martina Salgado, Legal Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the MICT today spoke to a group of 65 students about ICTY’s achievements and lessons learnt in adjudicating war time sexual violence.
The students were fascinated to find out that before the ICTY’s ground-breaking trials, rape was not considered to be a war crime, and that the first cases involving sexual violence charges tried before the Tribunal were dealing with male victims. The lecture proved to be a good platform for a lively discussion about this sensitive topic. The future lawyers admitted that they had little knowledge about the subject in the context of international law. They also said that the lecture greatly helped them in improving their understanding of the underlying principles of the sexual violence crimes, and how difficult it was to establish them in court.
Talking about the presentation, one of the students, Katarina Martinović said: “What made a particular impression on me was the ultimate recognition that the things are moving forward after all and that the impunity for perpetrators of such crimes is coming to an end.” Her colleague Dorja Pavičić added that she particularly liked the concrete examples provided during the lecture about the cases that she knew nothing about.
The lecture ended with a round of applause and Ms Martin Salgado was invited to give a similar lecture at the same faculty in the near future.