ICTY Conducts Training Session of Kosovo Legal Professionals

Hague, 19 May 2011 NOA - The Tribunal began today a two-day training session with legal professionals from district courts and prosecutors offices in Pristina/Priština, Peja/Peć, Prizren and Gjilan/Gnjilane in Kosovo, as part of the War Crimes Justice Project (WCJP).

The goal of the training, which is taking place at the Victory Hotel in Pristina/Priština, is to share the Tribunal’s institutional knowledge and specialised skills with jurisdictions in the region as a means of enhancing their capacity to handle complex war crimes cases.

The training is intended to strengthen the ability of the Tribunal’s local counterparts to locate and research ICTY information and materials relevant to their work. The training session will cover the use of electronic research tools such as the website, the ICTY Court Records Database and the Appeals Chambers Case Law Research Tool. It will also cover making requests to the ICTY for legal assistance and for variation of protective measures under the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

Commenting on the training session, Lavdim Krasniqi, the Director of the Kosovo Judicial Institute, said: “The Kosovo Judicial Institute supports this training initiative and is proud to co-organise it together with the WCJP. It is essential that national staff gain this expertise.”

Romana Schweiger, ODIHR’s Regional Co-ordinator of the WCJP, said: “The training course helps local staff learn how to access publicly available material they need for local proceedings and how to request the Tribunal to provide further material not published on the ICTY’s website.”

This is the first training session of legal professionals to be held in Kosovo as part of the WCJP. Similar training has taken place in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro since the launch of the WCJP in July 2010. Further training sessions are scheduled to be held in the region in the coming months.

The War Crimes Justice Project is a 4-million euro regional project funded by the European Union and carried out by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) in partnership with the ICTY, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and OSCE field operations.