ICLS provides legal and technical training, advice and support in order to ensure accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Our clients and the beneficiaries of our services include national, regional, hybrid and international courts, judges, prosecutors, defence counsel, court registries, governmental authorities, armed forces, non governmental organisations and businesses.
In 2012, ICLS is implementing a project on trial monitoring of national war crimes trials in Croatia, in collaboration with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The project aims at reinforcing ongoing trial monitoring activities by Croatian NGOs and builds on national and international experience and previous trial monitoring efforts in the region and elsewhere. The trainings offered by ICLS will focus on trial monitoring standards, fair trail standards, information sharing and outreach, and form part of a larger series of trainings offered by OSCE in 2012.
With the objective of raising awareness on atrocity-crimes in the business sector, ICLS has launched a project highlighting the salient aspects of international criminal law, and more particularly, the law on individual (as opposed to corporate) criminal liability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The first phase of the project is the drafting of a guide tailored for the business community. The guide will highlight, among other issues, the growing web of enforcement mechanisms around the world, and how international criminal law relates to corporate accountability and corporate social responsibility. The first phase of the project is made possible through the generous contribution of Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse - Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano.
On 20 December 2011 representatives of judicial training institutions from the region met in Podgorica, Montenegro, to discuss effective training for judicial staff involved in war crimes cases. A particular focus at the meeting was the ICL curriculum developed by ICLS, which integrates relevant jurisprudence of the ICTY, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The meeting was organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in co-ordination with the ICTY, the OSCE Mission to Montenegro and UNICRI, as a follow-up to the EU funded War Crimes Justice Project. A press release from the meeting is available on the OSCE/ODIHR Website.
In November 2011, the Open Society Justice Initiative released its book: International Crimes, Local Justice: A Handbook for Policymakers, Donors and Implementers. The book sets out the capacity needed by domestic judicial systems to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The Handbook specifically mentions ICLS as an organisation donors can partner with for expertise on international criminal justice. It also refers to ICLS’ efforts to establish a database of former personnel from international and hybrid war crimes tribunals. The book is available for download on the Open Society Justice Initiative website.
The training materials produced by ICLS as part of the War Crimes Justice Project (see below) were formally handed over to judicial and prosecutorial training institutions in Belgrade, Pristina, Sarajevo and Zagreb on 31 October. In the press release issued by OSCE-ODIHR, the quality and relevance of the curriculum was praised:
“Such a comprehensive and updateable training curriculum, with a wealth of examples from ICTY and domestic jurisprudence, is something that was missing in the practitioners’ legal training in the region. The curriculum has already helped me greatly in the preparation of a training I recently delivered to my younger colleagues,” said Judge Siniša Važić, the Vice-President of the War Crimes Department of the Belgrade Appellate Court.
“With the delivery of this curriculum, this project has provided the judicial institutions of this region with a very important tool which will contribute to further strengthening national capacities and expertise to handle war crimes cases and deliver justice in line with international standards,” said Thomas Gnocchi, the Head of Political Section at the EU Delegation to Serbia.
“This is the first curriculum developed to date that incorporates the growing body of regional war crimes jurisprudence into war crimes training materials in a holistic manner,” said Chris Engels, WCJP Regional Coordinator.
The training materials were already used by OSCE ODIHR in international criminal law and practice trainings for legal practitioners in the former Yugoslavia. OSCE ODIHR used the materials in trainings for judges and prosecutors in Sarajevo (April 2011), for chamber and prosecution support staff in Belgrade (July and September 2011) and for judges and prosecutors in Pristina (September 2011).
In July 2011, ICLS finalised training materials in the context of the project: Supporting the Transfer of Knowledge and Materials of War Crimes Cases from the ICTY to National Jurisdictions (“the War Crimes Justice Project”), related to the legacy of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, funded by the European Union and implemented by OSCE ODIHR, ICTY and UNICRI. The training materials consist of a comprehensive, practice-oriented training curriculum on international criminal and humanitarian law and practice, particularly relating to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It is tailored to the legal frameworks of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia and will be used primarily by national legal training centres and other legal training providers in capacity-building activities for legal practitioners in the three states. The 15 modules have been translated into Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, and are available under Publications.