Eastern Africa News Network

UN Mechanism President Santana launches fifth cycle of Inter-University Video Lecture Program

The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, has launched the fifth cycle of the Mechanism’s Inter University Video Lecture Programme.

During the occasion, President Gatti Santana delivered an opening lecture on the creation and jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to over 120 postgraduate students from 14 law faculties and one faculty of political sciences from across the region of the former Yugoslavia.

Addressing the students and professors from the participating faculties, President Gatti Santana highlighted the value of establishing a network of students across the region that are actively discussing and engaging with the ICTY’s legacy.

The President also emphasised the importance of educating students and young lawyers about the jurisprudence of the ICTY, and of developing skills that will enable them to effectively utilise and promote the ICTY’s ground-breaking body of work in their own respective jurisdictions or at the international level.

In the course of her lecture, President Gatti Santana provided students with an overview of the history and political context surrounding the ICTY’s establishment, as well as its mandate and jurisdiction.

The Programme, titled ‘International Law and Facts Established before the ICTY,’ combines a series of video lectures given by a variety of speakers from the Mechanism, as well as former ICTY staff members and other experts, over the course of several months.

It focuses on the region’s recent history, the role and contributions of the ICTY, and principles of international criminal law and international humanitarian law.

The participating universities and faculties for this year’s Programme include the Union University in Belgrade, the University of Donja Gorica, the University of Niš, the Haxhi Zeka University of Peja, the University of Podgorica and the University of Pristina.

Others are the University of Rijeka, the University of Sarajevo (Faculty of Law and Faculty of Political Sciences), Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, the University of Split, the University of Tuzla, the University of Vitez, the University of Zagreb, and the University of Zenica.

The Programme forms part of the wider Mechanism Information Programme for Affected Communities (MIP).

Together with the participating universities, since 2019 the Mechanism Information Programme has created a regional network of law faculties – the first of its kind – where law students from different countries can learn about, and discuss, the work of the ICTY and its legacy.

The video lecture series not only enhances the students’ knowledge and understanding of international criminal law and international humanitarian law, but also serves as a platform for genuine dialogue between law students from the region of the former Yugoslavia.

Launched in January 2019, and funded by the European Union the Mechanism Information Programme (MIP) targets to increase awareness and knowledge among affected communities about the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, based on ICTY and Mechanism cases.