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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.

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