In one of its more substantive engagements with local communities in the former Yugoslavia, the Tribunal implemented a groundbreaking series of events in 2004 and 2005 entitled Bridging the Gap.
The one-day events, held in the towns where some of the most serious crimes took place, included candid and comprehensive presentations from panels of Tribunal staff who were directly involved in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of alleged crimes.
The conferences provided the Tribunal with an opportunity to present an account of its activities directly to audiences most affected by the crimes at the heart of the Tribunal's work. Local community leaders, victims, returnees, legal professionals, law enforcement personnel, journalists, scholars and other members of the public had the opportunity to hear first-hand and ask questions about the Tribunal’s extensive work.
Speakers provided the context in which they worked, the manner that evidence was collected, and what, ultimately, was established in relevant cases and judgements.
The conferences highlighted expectations among communities for suspects to face justice and for national authorities to play their part in re-establishing the rule of law.
The conference proceedings presented here provide a fascinating insight into the work of the Tribunal, its impact on communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the scale of the task facing national judicial bodies.
Organised by the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme, such events are the benchmark for showcasing judicial accountability of international courts and explaining their work to the communities affected by crimes.
Conducted in association with the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the independent production company XY Films produced five television documentaries on the series of conferences. The programmes, shown to mass audiences by numerous regional and national broadcasters, can be requested from XY Films.