Sarajevo, 31 October 2011. The War Crimes Justice Project, implemented by UNICRI, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and OSCE field operations will complete its tasks on 31 October 2011.
The overall aim of the project was to assist national jurisdictions in strengthening their capacities to handle war crimes cases in an effective and fair manner, consistent with the highest international standards of due process. To this end, the project supported effective transfer of knowledge and material from the ICTY to the national judicial systems in the region.
The project was implemented thanks to the support of the European Union.
To mark the completion of the project a closing event will be held on the 26 October in Sarajevo. The event will be followed by a brief reception and the project's final peer-to-peer meeting between ICTY judges and their colleagues from the region working on war crimes cases.
The closing event will see participation of representatives of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, European Union Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The final phase of WCJP will envisage, inter alia, a series of promotional events dedicated to the presentation of the Manual on International Criminal Defence that will take place throughout October. This Manual was prepared within the WCJP by UNICRI in collaboration with the Association of Defence Counsel practicing before the ICTY, with the goal of enhancing the capacity of legal professionals in the region in processing complex war crimes cases.
The Manual provides an overview of some of the most effective and innovative practices developed by defence counsels representing war crimes suspects before the ICTY. This publication is intended to be a reference tool for counsel defending cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide before national courts in the former Yugoslavia.
The most relevant events related to UNICRI's components will take place as follows:
10 October, Sarajevo - Manual on International Criminal Defence presentation at regional meeting of defense counsel
Defence counsel practicing before the ICTY will meet in Sarajevo with their colleagues from the region, to discuss issues relating to their work and will receive the first copies of the Manual on International Criminal Defence /ADC-ICTY Developed Practices.
19 October, Prishtina - Advanced Seminar for Defence in War Crimes Cases
Ms Colleen Rohan, Defence counsel practicing before the ICTY, will conduct a training on Examination and Cross-examination of Witnesses in Court, a topic on which she wrote a chapter in the Manual on International Criminal Defence. The training will be followed by the presentation of the Manual by Ms Colleen Rohan., Ms Romana Schweiger, ODIHR Regional Project Co-ordinator, and Ms Albulena Ukimieraj, Coordinator of Training Centre, Chamber of Advocates.
25 October, Belgrade - Presentation of the Manual on International Criminal Defence /ADC-ICTY Developed Practices in Belgrade, Media Centre of Higher Court
In addition to UNICRI and the ODIHR representatives, Mr Slobodan Zecevic, President of the Association of Defence Counsel practicing before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) will attend the presentation providing more information on the process of preparation of the Manual as well as its envisaged usage.
A comprehensive list of events planned for the final phase of the project can be consulted at this link