osce.org/odihr War Crimes Justice Project This 4-million Euro project, funded by the European Union and implemented jointly by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), together with the OSCE field operations in the region, has successfully transferred knowledge on war crimes cases from the ICTY to the region and supported the consolidation of the capacity of national jurisdictions handling the war crimes caseload. Meeting Needs The War Crimes Justice Project, which ran for 18 months – from May 2010 to October 2011 – addressed the needs and capacity gaps identified during a nine-month needs assessment, during which the three project partners asked the region’s legal practitioners to define the challenges they face in handling the war crimes caseload and the best means of bridging capacity gaps and increasing the effectiveness of their work. On the basis of the recommendations made in the needs assessment final report (September 2009), the project developed the tools, implemented the activities and carried out the training identified by justice actors from the region as most needed. “The great importance of the War Crimes Justice Project is that it succeeded in providing support to judicial institutions, in a very practical way and covering a wide range of needs. Enhancing the capacity of the institutions which are prosecuting war crimes, exchanging experiences between justice actors from the region and the ICTY, and transferring relevant materials from the ICTY – these interventions have helped resolve the outstanding issues in this field.” Judge Meddžida Kreso, President of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina Implemented by Project funded by the European Union Project Focus Areas Access to the ICTY’s materials and expertise The ICTY produced over 60,800 pages of transcripts of the proceedings identified as most relevant by national legal institutions in local languages. More than 18,500 of these were produced in response to specific requests from courts and prosecutors in the region. By the end of 2011, these transcripts will be made available on the ICTY’s Court Records Database and relevant case pages on the ICTY website, ensuring that the transcripts remain accessible not only to legal professionals but also to the public at large long after the Tribunal has completed its work. The availability of these transcripts in local languages greatly enhances the ability of local professionals to access and use testimony given before the Tribunal and is part of the public legacy of the Tribunal. “Having transcripts available in our language greatly facilitates the processing of war crimes cases and allows prosecutors to build on and better utilize the work of the ICTY in accordance with our legal framework. By using this evidence material locally, we truly carry on the legacy of the Tribunal.” Vladimir Vukčević, War Crimes Prosecutor of Serbia In addition, 200,000 words of the Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber Case Law Research Tool, which is a compilation of the Chamber’s most important decisions, have been translated into local languages, enabling lawyers and the public in the region to access and search the Tribunal’s jurisprudence more effectively. The Manual on International Criminal Defence completes the circle, by making the knowledge and experience of the Association of Defence Counsel practicing before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) available to defence lawyers handling war crimes cases. Developed by UNICRI and the ADCICTY, this practice-oriented reference tool is targeted at defence counsel working on war crimes cases in the region’s courts. This first-of-its-kind publication will be of relevance to a wide range of stakeholders within the region and beyond.