Professor Diane Orentlicher
Professor Diane Orentlicher

Professor Orentlicher Participates in Briefing on the Closing of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Dec. 19, 2017

On Dec. 12, Professor Diane Orentlicher, an expert on international criminal law and international human rights law, participated in a briefing at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington about the closing of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The briefing was sponsored by the Helsinki Commission and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC), and it also featured Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and Nemanja Stjepanovic, member of the executive board, Humanitarian Law Center (who participated live via video from Belgrade, Serbia). The briefing was opened by U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren, co-chair of the TLHRC and member of the Helsinki Commission, and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel and moderated by Robert Hand, policy advisor of the Helsinki Commission.

As the ICTY prepares to close its doors, the briefing assessed the tribunal’s achievements and limitations, and most importantly, what still needs to be done by the countries of the region to seek justice in outstanding cases, bring greater closure to victims, and foster greater reconciliation among peoples.

In her presentation, Orentlicher, whose book Some Kind of Justice: The ICTY’s Impact in Bosnia and Serbia will be released by Oxford University Press in 2018, addressed what the ICTY has accomplished in its 24 years as well as what remains to be done.

Despite concerns about aspects of the Tribunal’s performance, Orentlicher said, “survivors remain overwhelmingly happy that the ICTY was created.”  To ensure its positive impact in Bosnia and Serbia, however, “the sustained engagement and commitment of the international community is essential.”

Read the announcement from the Helsinki Commission or watch the video of the briefing on Facebook.