The top sixty students of humanities from throughout Germany visited the ICTY’s Field Office in Sarajevo today to learn about the work of the Tribunal. The visit was organised by the National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes) and it was part of a study visit with the aim to gain insight into challenges faced by the local communities in the process of European integrations. This visit particularly focused on the ethnic and social conflicts of the Balkans area following the break-up of Yugoslavia.
Almir Alić, the ICTY Registry Liaison Officer in Bosnia and Herzegovina pointed out that the ICTY initiated the process of accountability for war crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. During his presentation, Almir discussed the influence that war crimes trials have on reaffirming the rule of law in the region and their importance in terms of providing redress to the victims. The students expressed such a great interest in the topics that the two hour presentation was extended for an additional half hour.
Julia Obermier, a 25-year old master’s degree student at Trinity College Dublin, commented that the ICTY presentation was the best they had during the entire study visit: “Having studied international criminal law a little before, I especially appreciated the clear language which was both easy to understand for non-lawyers, but also used the exact terms of the ICTY statute.”