UNICRI, in cooperation with OKO, the Criminal defence section of the Registry of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), has organized its first round of training seminars for Bosnian defence counsels. OKO is a unique institution in international criminal law that is designed to ensure the highest standards of defense in trials of domestic war crimes. The seminars took place in Banja Luka on the 25th and in Sarajevo on the 27th of June 2008.
A panel of experts on international criminal law representing academia, international prosecutors and international defence counsels made available in coordination with the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia were convened by UNICRI to lecture and exchange information with Bosnian lawyers on the topic of “Plea agreements in war crimes cases”. In addition, the OSCE participated in the seminar in Sarajevo by sharing the results of its research on the topic in a valuable presentation.
A great interest in both the topics and the panellists was demonstrated by the large number of attendees – almost 80 lawyers admitted before the Court of BiH participated in both seminars.
These seminars are part of the project funded by the Italian cooperation that UNICRI is implementing with the Registry of the Court of BiH to facilitate the full takeover of trials and prosecutions of war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide by the Bosnian judiciary. This project is part of the broader vision UNICRI is maintaining to transfer the Legacy of International Tribunals to national jurisdictions. The latter is currently implemented in cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia.