The first cycle of the Inter-University Video Lecture Programme (Programme) “International Law and Facts Established before the ICTY” concluded today with a lecture delivered by Mr. Olufemi Elias, Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), entitled “Role and functions of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals”.
The Programme, developed and implemented by the Mechanism’s Information Programme for Affected Communities, brings together postgraduate students from six law faculties across the former Yugoslavia in order to initiate a dialogue about the region’s recent history, the role of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the principles of international criminal law and international humanitarian law.
During his lecture, Registrar Elias provided the students with the context of the Mechanism’s establishment and discussed in detail its multifaceted role and functions. He also shared personal experiences regarding the challenges the Mechanism faced as a newly formed body, mandated to perform a number of essential functions previously carried out by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the ICTY. Registrar Elias further outlined similarities, as well as key differences, between the mandates of the two predecessor Tribunals and the Mechanism, while underscoring the Mechanism’s role in maintaining the legacies of these two pioneering ad hoc international criminal Tribunals.
The lecture was the eighth in the first cycle of the Programme, launched in November last year with a lecture given by the Mechanism’s President, Judge Carmel Agius. Other lectures have been given by experienced lawyers from the Mechanism’s Office of the Prosecutor, Chambers and Registry, as well as by a member of a Defence team, covering topics such as destruction of cultural heritage, joint criminal enterprise, prosecution of war-time sexual violence and the rights of the accused.
More than 120 post-graduate students took part in this cycle of the Programme via video-conference, including law students from the University of Niš, the University of Podgorica, the University of Priština, the University of Sarajevo, the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skoplje and the University of Zagreb. All lectures have been filmed and will be made available to the respective law faculties for future presentations to their students.
The next cycle of the Inter-University Lectures Programme is anticipated to start later this year.
The Programme is part of the Mechanism’s Information Programme for Affected Communities (MIP), launched in January 2019, which aims to contribute to increased awareness and knowledge among affected communities about the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia based on the ICTY and Mechanism cases. The MIP is generously supported by the European Union and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.