About the Project



Mandate for the Exhibition


According to Points 1.3. to 1.4. of the Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the Information Centre in Sarajevo signed between City of Sarajevo and ICTY (now Mechanism/IRMCT, as legal successor of the ICTY) from November 2016,  the mandate of the Information Centre on ICTY Sarajevo is to provide the public with up-to-date, direct and secure electronic access to all publicly available ICTYˋs records and archival material contained in ICTYˋs online databases, but also to inform the public on the war crimes issues, to contribute to the process of transitional justice and strengthening the rule of law in BiH and the region by establishing a strong outreach components including: the component of transitional justice-contributing to the processes of transitional justice and dealing with the past by organizing various informative and educational public events, the component of support to legal professionals and civil society capacity building activities targeting legal professionals and civil societies groups handling war crimes before domestic courts in BiH and the exhibition component showcasing the work of the ICTY and courts in BiH in adjudicating war crimes cases.


Basic information about exhibition incentives and objectives


The mandate of the Information Centre also includes an exhibition component, so it was found that it is important for visitors, scholars, and the public, in general, to visually presents the Tribunal’s work and achievements.

Firstly, it is important to emphasize that in the exhibition design drafting process, the City administration has relied upon experiences and suggestions of the Mayors Council members, engaged design consultants, good practices and guidelines for the preparation of memorial events and similar activities in order to promote the Centres exhibition component- showcasing the work and contribution of the ICTY.

The promotion of the exhibition component is a very useful and efficient tool in accomplishing goals from the overall mandate of the Centre. Also, content visualization contributes to better informing, education, and subtly contributes to accepting established facts and, therefore, facing the past. The exhibition can always be a platform around which other ideas and contents are realized, for example, different educational activities, presentations, round tables, etc. Finally, Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina lack unique and comprehensive content of this kind. Also, this exhibition-showcasing the work and contribution of the ICTY is a necessary ingredient that should accompany the ICTY war crimes courtroom that has been moved to the premises of the Centre in Sarajevo City Hall to preserve the legacy of first achievements towards international justice and accountability since World War Two.


Within the framework of this exhibition, informational and educational objectives include:

  • Objective and clear informing about incentives for the establishment, the scope of work, and the overall results of the ICTY
  • Gaining a better understanding of the past based on established facts in the ICTY verdicts, including combating denial and preventing revisionism
  • Informing on war crimes issues, international humanitarian law, and transitional justice
  • Creating empathy with the victims and preserving their memory
  • Recognizing that the war crimes were a loss to civilization as well as to the countries that were directly exposed
  • Increasing awareness about the danger of hate, non-tolerance, radical and secessionist movements, and regimes
  • Placing a spotlight on other war crimes, particularly including genocides and Holocaust
  • Promoting peace, respect for human rights, and belief inaccessibility of the international justice
  • Sparking critical thinking and intellectual curiosity and fostering personal responsibility as democratic citizens.


The overall objective of the Project is as follows: To contribute to the processes of transitional justice and dealing with the past in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region (the territory of the former Yugoslavia).

The specific objective of the Project is as follows: to develop the exhibition component showcasing the work of the ICTY towards establishing the facts related to the war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.


Concept Design for the Exhibition


The exhibition will be constructed and installed in the Sarajevo City Hall (Vijećnica) – the ground floor on the right from the main entrance. The exhibition will be installed in the three separates but connected rooms and an additional hall, next to the original ICTY Courtroom No 2. delivered from the ICTY and together they will create a unique memorial complex.


The exhibition will present the work and contribution of the Tribunal through showcasing all of 90 final judgments of convictions sorted by countries and then further regions and cities within the countries. Showcasing each final judgment will contain a case information sheet extracted from the ICTY database without any content modification (case number, indictment, and its counts, trial statistics, final judgment summary, the country where the prison sentence is served). Showcasing the countries, regions, and cities will provide basic information about the geographical area with location maps, population registration, and statistics regarding human and material losses caused by war crimes.


In the entrance hall to the exhibition room, there is the basic information about the ICTY, original of the UN Security Council Resolution 827 establishing the Tribunal, and a description of the crimes tried by the Tribunal as copied from its Statute. There are also photographs depicting the UN Security Council meeting when the Tribunal was established, the first trial, the ICTY closing ceremony, audience gallery, view of the exterior and interior of the ICTY building in The Hague, including photos of the ICTY Detention Unit, physical archives of the court and courtrooms during trials.


The second part of the exhibition authentically presents Courtroom 2 of the ICTY where individuals accused of war crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia stood trials. It was brought directly from The Hague after the ICTY’s was closed. Sarajevo is the first city after Nuremberg that has the original courtroom of an international tribunal where war crime trials were held.


The original furniture, judges’ bench, curtain, and the UN flag from Courtroom 2 in The Hague can be seen in this room. Members of the ICTY Chambers used the authentic chairs and desks in the frontal part of this room, and the professional legal staff was sitting in the row in front of them. On the right-hand side of the Chamber, there were defense lawyers of the accused and the accused themselves were sitting in the second row. The left side was reserved for prosecutors and their staff. Witnesses were on the witness stand facing the Chambers and before taking the stand they took the oath reading aloud the text of the oath on the desk in front of them. Black judicial robes were worn by defense counsel, prosecutors, and legal staff of the Tribunal, while the red robes were reserved excursively for judges. The exhibited red robe belonged to Judge Fausto Pocar who was an ICTY judge since 2001, and between 2003 and 2005 he served as the Vice-president of the Tribunal, and between 2005 and 2008 as its President. On the occasion of the Centre’s opening and as a token of his strong support to its creation and work, Judge Pocar personally donated the judicial robe that he used at trials for 17 years. On the walls, there is a timeline pinpointing the most important dates in the Tribunal’s history from its establishment on 25 May 1993 until its closure on 31 December 2017, as well as an overview of the organization and the criminal procedure at the Tribunal. A segment of this room is dedicated to photographs with names of the Tribunal Presidents and its Chief Prosecutors.


The central part of the Centre’s exhibition is dedicated to the presentation of the ICTY’s work and contribution with infographics of all convicted individuals before the Tribunal divided by countries, regions, and towns where they committed the war crimes. Most of the final convictions were passed for war crimes committed in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Each infographic includes the information sheet for each convicted individual, copied directly from the ICTY database without any modifications. It includes authentic case number, indictment and charges, judgment, sentence, trial statistics, and information about the country where the convicted individual serves the sentence.  Accompanying photographs, parts of testimonies, interview records, and other exhibits were taken from the ICTY database, and as such, they were used as evidence at the hearings conducted before the ICTY.


Finally, one part of this exhibition segment will contain a list of Tribunal Achievements (•Establishing the Facts, •Bringing Justice to Victims, •Holding Leaders Accountable, •Individualising Guilt, •Giving Victims a Voice, •Strengthening the Rule of Law).