OSCE supports domestic war crimes trials in former Yugoslavia

In a period when International Crime Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia slowly brings it works to the end OSCE in cooperation with EU starts new project which will support domestic war crime trials in the former Yugoslavia. As it was reported from Belgrade War Crime Justice Project will be funded by the EU in amount of 4 million Euros and it will be carried out in partnership with ICTY,  United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute in cooperation with regional field offices in former Yugoslavian republics.

WCJP would be focuses on transferring knowledge and materials from the ICTY to national judicial and  legal professionals. Main purpose of this project will be to address earlier identified gaps in the professional capacities of local practitioners and available resources.

“This project is a key element in the transfer of responsibility for war crimes cases from the ICTY to national judiciaries. It is essentially about national ownership and capacity building – also in the context of European integration,” said Ambassador Janez Lenarcic, ODIHR’s Director.

Launch of this highly important project was a also a chance for ICTY’s judges to seat down with local officials and to discuss common concerns and exchange a views on war crime trials. Also this project comes in a time when local governments are signing new bilateral agreements on extraditions of war criminals or criminals who had dual citizenships. In a same time when OSCE started this project Bosnia arrested and imprisoned on Monday former Croatian general and former MP, Branimir Glavas, for war crimes committed against Serbs in 1990’s on Croatian territory. Croatian Supreme Court sentenced Mr. Glavas on eight years in prisons, but he escaped to Bosnia do to his dual Croatian-Bosnian citizenship, but earlier this month Bosnian highest court in Sarajevo confirmed that sentence and send Mr. Glavas to Bosnian jail on eight years.

“Capacity building of the national jurisdictions in the former Yugoslavia is crucial for achieving justice, peace and the rule of law. We will keep working together with our partners in the region and elsewhere to help that process”, said Judge Patrick Robinson, ICTY’s President on the presentation of WCJP.

The War Crimes Justice Project will also develop, in co-operation with national judicial training institutions, curricula on international criminal and humanitarian law and a manual for defence lawyers, as well as various research and analysis tools. In addition, the project funds support staff in domestic judicial institutions to bolster capacity in areas such as prosecutorial analysis and legal research.

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