The Tribunal yesterday launched ‘Fifteen Years of Outreach at the ICTY’, a publication highlighting how the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme — the first-ever to be established by an international criminal tribunal — developed over the course of the ICTY’s history. The publication features the strategies and projects developed by the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme and summarises outreach-related activities undertaken by the Office of the President and the Office of the Prosecutor.
ICTY President, Judge Carmel Agius, explained in his welcoming remarks that the Outreach Programme has served as a direct communication link between the Tribunal and the people of the region. “As a result, the Programme’s work has enabled countless people in the region to witness justice being done in The Hague and support justice being done at home,” said President Agius. He added that the Outreach Programme remains crucial for the Tribunal in its final phase “to continue to disseminate its findings, to explain the significance of its achievements to the people of the former Yugoslavia, and to ensure that its legacy will endure.”
On behalf of the Outreach Programme’s main donor – the European Union – Mr David Hudson, Senior Expert, said in his introduction that the ICTY’s Outreach programme operates at many levels - from TV screens to classrooms: “The European Commission is proud to be able to continue to support this vital work of the court.”
Opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion on the lessons learnt from 15 years of the Outreach Programme. During the discussion, Dr Marko Milanović (Associate Professor, University of Nottingham School of Law) pointed out that, in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, the denial of ICTY’s factual determinations on specific crimes continues. Mr Mario Mažić (Director of Programmes, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Croatia) added that the young people in the region have very strong attitudes towards the Tribunal based on very little knowledge and that challenging their prejudices was the main result of the Youth Outreach project.
Ms Lada Šoljan (Legal Officer, ICTY Office of the Prosecutor) explained how the Office of the Prosecutor engaged with a variety of local actors, such as victims, the media and local authorities, on outreach and capacity building projects. Concluding, Ms Rada Pejić-Sremac (Head, ICTY Outreach Programme) said that the ICTY Outreach developed over the years from a tool for provision of information on ICTY into an instrument of dialogue with the local communities about the need to end impunity.
Fifteen Years of Outreach at the ICTY is part of a series of events entitled ‘ICTY Legacy Dialogues’ being held throughout 2016 and 2017. The ICTY Legacy Dialogues are aimed at promoting discussion of and reflection on the legacy of the ICTY as it approaches its closure, in order to inspire and enable others to build on the Tribunal’s achievements.
The Outreach Programme is generously supported by the European Union.