First OSCE workshop on international criminal law and transitional justice for law students in Bosnia and Herzegovina
SARAJEVO, 15 December 2016 - A group of 16 advanced law students from the Universities of Sarajevo and Banja Luka completed today the sixth and final session of the OSCE’s first Extracurricular Workshop on International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice. The workshop prepared the future legal practitioners to enable them to enter the judiciary better equipped to tackle the issues that arise in war crimes cases.
Over the course of two months, the workshop provided the students with skills-based training in the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of war crimes cases. Trainers in the workshop were judges, prosecutors, defence attorneys, witness support officers, and investigators. The final session held yesterday gave the students an opportunity to practice their trial advocacy skills in a mock trial held at the Court of BiH and presided over by one of the Court’s judges.
At the closing ceremony, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Ambassador Jonathan Moore awarded the students with their completion certificates: “Each and every one of you has the potential to make the world a more just and peaceful place. People in this country will benefit from the positive impact that you will have in your careers as legal professionals. They very much count on and depend on your professionalism, integrity and competence.”
Throughout the course of the workshop the students became more familiar with investigative and prosecutorial activities, with each of the six full-day sessions culminating in a simulated scenario requiring them to apply the skills they gained through practitioner instruction.
Igor Letica of the University of Banja Luka Law Faculty said that the criminal prosecution of war crimes perpetrators is an important part of reconciliation and regional stability. “The experience from this workshop will help us understand the importance of institutional capacity building and strengthening of the rule of law in our society.”
Anesa Secerkadic of the University of Sarajevo Law Faculty said that the students value every opportunity to gain practical knowledge that will help them prepare for future careers. “We heard from experts who deal with war crimes cases. As the formal education is somewhat lacking this segment, we are grateful for the opportunity to get the whole picture about what it means to process one of the most complex criminal cases.”