About the Centre
ABOUT THE SARAJEVO INFORMATION CENTRE ON THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA (ICTY)
Legal ground for the establishment, mandate, and the Centre opening
- The UN Security Council Resolution No. 1966/2010 which established the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT/Mechanism) as the official legal successor of the ICTY (the ICTY completed its work on December 31, 2017, after 24 years of work) with a provision stating that “ the ICTY and the IRMCT are obliged to co-operate with the countries of the former Yugoslavia through the establishment of information and documentation centers by providing them with access to the ICTY and Mechanism’s public records, contained in its online database”.
- The most significant step in establishing the first Sarajevo Information Centre on ICTY in the countries of the former Yugoslavia is the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by and between the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the City of Sarajevo for the development of the Information Centre in Sarajevo, on 29th November 2016.
- The Sarajevo Information Centre on ICTY was officially opened and started to operate on May 23rd, 2018. The Information Centre was officially opened by the Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka, the Judge and former President of the ICTY Fausto Pocar, and the Chef of the IRMCT President Cabinet Ms. Gabrielle McIntyre.
Organization/structure and the mandate of the Centre
- The Centre is currently organized as an internal organizational unit within the City of Sarajevo and the operational activities of the Centre are performed by civil servants-employees of the City of Sarajevo. The Centre is administrated by the Mayor. The Mayor’s Council for the Information Centre due to the signed Memorandum, is assisting the Mayor in creating the Centre’s development policies. The Council currently has 10 members who are distinguished individuals – university professors and public workers dealing with transitional justice, war crimes and the work of the Tribunal.
- According to the signed Memorandum with the ICTY, the mandate of the Centre is to provide the public with up–to-date direct and secure electronic access to all publicly available ICTY‘s records and archival material contained in ICTY‘s online database, as well as to perform the tasks with the aim to inform and educate the public on the war crimes issues, contributing to the process of transitional justice and strengthening the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region by establishing a strong outreach components: dealing with the past, providing the support to legal professionals and civil society groups handling war crimes cases before domestic courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the exhibition component – showcasing the work and activities of the ICTY in delivering judgements.
The location of the Centre and usage of its premises
The Headquarters of the Centre is located in the most representative building in the City – at the Sarajevo City Hall, ground floor, and currently the Centre has approximately 1000 m2 of its space consisted of:
- Multifunctional hall: A conference room equipped with computers- ensuring access to ICTY’s online database and organizing lectures and various workshops.
- Library with a reading room: The library fond is consisted of all certified copies of all ICTY judgments delivered in 24 years of its work, as well as a significant part of the library fond, which also including valuable tittles of books, specialized publications, collections of books, annals, as well as a collection of public information material previously produced by the ICTY’s Outreach Programme, which was delivered to the Centre in September 2019. The library was equipped with the financial support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation – Rule of Law Programme for southeast Europe.
- Museum space: Display of the authentic ICTY courtroom No. 2. delivered from the Hague, in May 2018.), as well as the permanent exhibition: “Showcasing the work and contribution of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)“. By presenting this exhibition, the Centre will develop a permanent museum component, forming the unique exhibition setting, along with the ICTY authentic courtroom. The exhibition is supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation –Country Office in BiH. Also, Sarajevo is the first city after Nürnberg to have one authentic courtroom where the trials for committed war crimes were held.
- Working premises: Office space for the Centre staff
The most significant Centre’s activities
- Information and educational activities: Centre has established cooperation with a number of academic institutions- The Law faculty of the University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology-SSST (lectures related to international humanitarian law, establishment, mandate, heritage and importance of the ICTY are conducted by the Centre’s employees, from the third and fourth years of study), cooperation with the Court of BiH (lectures and trainings on how to use the ICTY’s database for work and study purposes), organizing lectures, international conferences and public events for the general public: Lecture delivered by the President of the Mechanism, the Judge Theodor Meron, Chief Prosecutor of the Mechanism, Serge Brammertz, organisation of the International Conference with Tribunal Prosecutors: Kenneth Scott, Mark Harmon, Judges and ICTY Presidents Fausto Pocar, Robinson Patrick, marking the UN Human Rights Day projects with UN and British Embassy in BiH, international summer schools, the public pronouncement of the appeal judgement, initiation for the establishment of PhD international doctoral program where the students will be able to use the ICTY’s database for the purpose of scientific research, etc.
- Cooperation with relevant NGO’s: The Centre is institutionalizing cooperation with transitional justice associations, post-conflict societies, victims’ associations, etc.
- Collaboration with similar centers and memorials which nourish the memory of remembrance: The cooperation is officially established with the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial Centre. There are the on-going activities of establishing cooperation with the Nuremberg Memorial, Auschwitz Centre, Information Centre on the International Criminal Court with Rwanda in Arusha (Rwanda).
- Public events: Establishment and commemoration of significant dates determined in international documents (Human Rights Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, 11 of July- Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance Day) or date of delivering Tribunal Judgments (5 of April-Sarajevo Siege Day), etc. The Centre also hosts domestic and international representatives and officials.
- The Centre has become a tourist hotspot.