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- emilygiven: I. Introduction The Preamble to the Rome Statute provides that the aims of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are “to punish the most serious crimes of concern to the international community,” and “contribute to the prevention of such crimes.”1 Other goals of the Court presumably include creating a historical record of these crimes, expressing moral condemnation of them... (more)
- Jenevieve Discar: Assessment of Outreach Programs Executed by the ICTY, ICTR and ECCC I. Introduction This paper will examine the outreach programs executed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in an effort to guide International Criminal... (more)
- John Litwin: Reaching the Masses: Social Media and the International Criminal Court I. Introduction As a controversial international tribunal, the International Criminal Court (ICC, or “the Court”) relies on public approval for its legitimacy. As the court has observed, “justice must be both done and seen to be done.”1 Therefore, a comprehensive outreach campaign is a crucial component of the court’s goal to... (more)
- karen.kwok: The Importance of Timing in ICC Outreach Strategies I. Introduction Outreach plays an important role in the success of the International Criminal Court. Unlike domestic courts that have been developed for years, international tribunals is still a relatively new concept that requires substantial outreach “to cultivate a level of awareness and understanding of the Court’s mandate and mode of... (more)
- Taku: I find the contributions refreshing and interesting. However, there appears to be a presumption that the Outreach policy and the program overseeing its implementation is properly constituted and efficient. This may not be the case after all. A cursory observation of the ICC institutional framework reveals that the Outreach Program as presently constituted needs to be re-examined and re-organized. There is a need to seriously reconsider the constitution of the program, its mission and functions... (more)
- McElroy: Outreach at the ICC: Implications for Funding Constraints I. Introduction Although the International Criminal Court was established over a decade ago, the Court’s present ability to provide effective outreach faces certain challenges. With regard to outreach objectives, the Court aims to provide accurate and comprehensive information to affected communities with respect to the Court’s role and activities... (more)
- ecalmeyer: Outreach and the ICC: A Losing Battle I. Introduction The International Criminal Court is not currently the proper entity to lead comprehensive outreach on international criminal law and the Court’s international justice efforts. On one hand, outreach and education are indeed crucial to promote an understanding of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”). In order for the... (more)
Comment on the Outreach Question: “How can the ICC and its stakeholders more fully address challenges to outreach and public information, better utilize technology and other methods to enhance understanding of the Court’s mandate and activities, and promote support for its work?”
Assessment of Outreach Programs Executed by the ICTY, ICTR and ECCC
This paper will examine the outreach programs executed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in an effort to guide International Criminal Court (ICC) outreach programs. Although the ICC faces particularly difficult challenges in that, unlike the tribunals that will be assessed in this paper, its outreach must span different regions with populations of different socioeconomic statuses, different languages, and different technological capacities, the ICC may draw upon lessons learned from the ICTY, ICTR and ECCC to guide its own initiatives specific to each region of the world. This paper assumes that each individual tribunal is currently doing, or striving to do, what is best for its particular audience.
The three tribunals assessed in this paper were selected because each allows for an examination of tribunal outreach in vastly different communities with different cultures and needs. The ICTY, a pioneer in terms of outreach programs, provides insight into outreach programs that are executed in Europe in more developed communities with higher technological capabilities. The ICTR allows examination of the potential for outreach in Africa, with a population that has less access to technology. The ECCC implemented an outreach program modeled after that of the ICTY, but tailored to meet the specific needs of its own populace in Southeast Asia, and thus provides insight into outreach programs targeted towards that population.
II. ICTY: Outreach Programs in Europe
Of the tribunals analyzed, the ICTY has the widest breadth of programs available. The ICTY’s programs are also the most technologically advanced of all the tribunals analyzed. The ICTY’s outreach program was first initiated in the fall of 1999, five years after investigations for the Tribunal had begun. The outreach program was developed because ICTY representatives believed that, due in large part to negative media coverage, the Tribunal was poorly perceived by the population, and that the negative perception impacted the Tribunal’s ability to work effectively. The regional outreach offices that were established in 2000 and 2001 have struggled to correct public opinion adversely affected by the media.1
Current ICTY outreach programs include the following:2
The ICTY is currently engaged in youth outreach that includes high school and middle school presentations, study visits, and internship projects. Beginning in 2011, the ICTY has run a series of presentations in high schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina to explain the ICTY’s work and how it has helped to bring about justice for victims of atrocities that occurred during the conflicts. In 2012, this program was expanded to include presentations to high schools in Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo. The ICTY also reaches out to university students studying the fields of law, politics, and humanities. ICTY experts and practitioners have traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to give academic lectures to interested students and increase awareness of international criminal law and the ICTY.
The ICTY has also opened its doors to student visitors, enabling international students and young people from the former Yugoslavia to learn about the work of the ICTY onsite. Students are able to follow live trial proceedings and pose questions to ICTY representatives.
Finally, for the past four years, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has offered internships to young legal professionals from the former Yugoslavia. The interns who are selected are able to assist OTP trial teams directly and also gain experience in international humanitarian law and criminal cases. Past interns have also had the opportunity to assist in the ICTY’s outreach program by sharing their experiences with law students in the former Yugoslavia.3
The ICTY offers a wide range of media outreach programs. The ICTY has made efforts to work directly with the media to ensure that journalists have been able to report accurate and up-to-date information on ongoing trials. The ICTY has also provided media contacts with audio-visual materials for use in reports. ICTY outreach personnel have appeared on local television and radio stations, and have given interviews to print publications. Both ICTY President Theodor Meron and Prosecutor Serge Brammertz have appeared for a number of interviews with journalists.
The ICTY is also active on social media, and manages a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a YouTube channel. Through these different social media outlets, the ICTY is able to spread awareness of its work and effectively communicate its messages. The ICTY’s Facebook page has received over one thousand “likes” and, on average, the page is accessed by 700 people every month. Witness statements that may otherwise be difficult to find are easily accessible through direct links on the ICTY Facebook page, which is accompanied by information on each witness and the purpose of the testimony. The ICTY also disseminates important information on judgments, Tribunal events, outreach projects, articles, and UN news regarding the former Yugoslavia through its Facebook page.
The ICTY’s Twitter page has also been increasingly successful, gaining an average of approximately 100 additional followers each month. The ICTY’s YouTube channel garnered over 400,000 views in 2012. The “Voice of the Victims” videos, which feature witnesses who have come to testify at the ICTY, have been particularly popular, along with videos of the start of Ratko Mladić’s trial and the court judgment against Shefqet Kabashi.
Finally, the ICTY’s official, regularly updated website recorded over 4.2 million page views last year, an increase of 14 per cent from the year before. The website has recently been updated to include an improved interactive map, one of the best sources of information for crimes investigated and adjudicated at the ICTY, which displays many of the geographical regions that suffered during the conflicts and provides a corresponding overview of ICTY case-related information, and video-streaming of trials.4
The ICTY’s community outreach program includes documentary screenings and interaction with local communities, including meetings with victims’ associations. The ICTY’s feature-length documentary, entitled “Sexual Violence and the Triumph of Justice,” shows the ICTY’s role in the prosecution and adjudication of wartime sexual violence. The documentary features interviews with ICTY staff members and testimonies of some of the sexual violence survivors who provided evidence for the ICTY. Over 100 people attended the film’s premiere, which took place in January 2012 at The Hague. The audience included ICTY principals, members of the diplomatic corps, international court representatives, NGO staff, journalists, and students.
After the film’s premiere, the ICTY held a roundtable in which senior ICTY officials and senior ICC officials discussed the challenges of prosecuting crimes of sexual violence and challenges associated with the work of the ICTY and the ICC. Following the premiere, the ICTY held screenings of the documentary in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, complemented by roundtable discussions and seminars, and distributed copies of the DVD to over 400 international experts in relevant fields. The documentary is also available on the ICTY website and YouTube.
The OTP has also initiated programs allowing for direct interaction with victims. The Prosecutor has personally met with victims’ associations, journalists, and NGO representatives to answer questions and provide insight on the work of the OTP, information on ongoing trials and appeals and issues regarding national prosecutions.5
ICTY Capacity Building
The ICTY has engaged in programs to train judges and prosecutors, in coordination with Europeans and Americans. The Registry’s Court Management and Support Services Section and the Office of the Prosecutor are also engaged in assisting the judiciaries of the former Yugoslavia in processing war crime cases. The OTP is working on transferring its expertise regarding war crimes prosecutions to regional authorities, in order to ensure that regional war crimes prosecutions continue after the ICTY completes its mandate.6
“Bridging the Gap” Series
The “Bridging the Gap” series consisted of five conferences that were held between May 2004 and June 2005 throughout Bosnia, in areas where a significant number of crimes were committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, and where the ICTY conducted and completed a substantial number of trials. The main purpose of the “Bridging the Gap” series was to inform the local populace of the ICTY’s work, beginning with the investigations stage, to the issuing of indictments, to the trials conducted, and culminating with an explanation of the judgments. Through this series of conferences, the ICTY attempted to allow local people to follow a case from start to finish. During the series, the audience was able to interact with the Outreach team and with senior ICTY officials, including senior investigators and trial attorneys, who were involved in prosecuting the cases.7
The ICTY offers an online evidence/remembrance museum. The reason for this distinction from the ICTR’s evidence/remembrance museum (located in Kigali and further discussed in the next segment) is the security concerns over creating a remembrance museum in the Balkans and the possibility of issues with the Serbs. Whereas the ICTR was able to make this a physical remembrance museum due to access to a safe security environment, the ICTY digitized the museum and put it online to avoid potential problems.
III. ICTR: Outreach Programs in Africa
The ICTR did not begin an active outreach program until 1998, following the conclusion of the first trial and three years after investigations had begun in Rwanda.8 The ICTR’s outreach program is relatively small, comprised of only three major initiatives.
The current ICTR outreach programs include:9
Umusanzu mu Bwiyunge Information and Documentation Centre in Kigali
The Umusanzu mu Bwiyunge Information and Documentation Centre in Kigali provides a range of opportunities to increase public understanding of the Tribunal’s work through books, journals, newspapers, legal documents, audio-visual materials and information briefings.
The Tribunal is cooperating with the Government of Rwanda to establish ten similar information and documentation centers in locations across the country to improve public access to documents and other information about the work and accomplishments of the ICTR.10
In the past, the Outreach Program provided financial support to allow journalists from the Office Rwandais de l’Information (ORINFOR) and the Ministry of Justice to report from Arusha.
As part of the current Outreach Program, the ICTR regularly brings groups of up to six Rwandan journalists to Arusha to gain information on the ICTR first-hand, which will enable them to accurately report on significant ICTR events, including the delivery of judgments, Appeals Chamber sittings, and the opening of new trials. The ICTR outreach staff provides these journalists with audio or videocassettes of the ICTR hearings, which they can broadcast via government and private stations in Rwanda. The ICTR also provides a satellite feed of each judgment that can be broadcast live in Rwanda.
The Tribunal is currently working on launching a new weekly radio program geared specifically for the Rwandan audience. The ICTR also produces brochures and other printed information, as well as documentaries about some of the completed cases.11
Visits and Seminars
The ICTR’s Outreach Program organizes regular visits of journalists, lawyers, human rights advocates and civil society representatives to the ICTR in Arusha, where they are able to attend and observe trials in progress and take part in briefings on various aspects of the ICTR’s work. Clergy from various religious denominations and members of the Rwandan judiciary also attend these visits and seminars.12
A major focus of the ICTR’s Outreach Program is to allow law students from Rwandan public and private universities to visit the ICTR, where they can gain first-hand knowledge of the ICTR’s work and current challenges facing international criminal courts.
IV. ECCC: Outreach Programs in Southeast Asia
The ECCC modeled its outreach program after that of the ICTY, but modified it to serve its distinct audience and capabilities.
Current ECCC outreach programs include:13
Publications, radio and television programs, the ECCC official website, and forums around the country that take information about the Court to the heart of the community.
Cooperation efforts with Cambodian and international NGOs as well as national, provincial and local structures of government, particularly in disseminating a wide range of materials including charts, posters, other reading material and videos, and in radio and television programs.
Educational initiatives, including dissemination of audio and visual feeds of court proceedings and edited video and audio summaries of the court proceedings and other activities of ECCC organs.
V. Comparative Analysis of Outreach Programs
Online/Social Media: Most Heavily Utilized by the ICTY
Each of the tribunals assessed maintains its own website to communicate its messages and keep the online community up to date on important developments related to the Tribunal’s work. The ICTY, however, is the only tribunal currently making use of social media (namely, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). Based on this, the implication is that the ICC’s outreach program should include online and social media targeted to the more developed countries in order to reach technologically advanced societies.
Radio: Outreach Medium of Choice for the ICTR and ECCC
Both the ICTR and the ECCC make effective use of radio programs to convey the Tribunal’s respective messages. This indicates that the ICC could make use of radio to reach out to populations where that is the only communication tool available. This is unnecessary as a tool in developed Europe, where the majority of the populace has access to other communication mechanisms. In order to reach less technologically advances societies, the ICC should make effective use of radio programs targeted to the less developed areas.
On the Ground: Major Component of Outreach Used by All Three Tribunals
On the ground strategies are employed by all three Tribunals, with varying levels of direct involvement by higher level Tribunal officials. This suggests that on the ground efforts is the most effective form of outreach across all regions.
An examination of the outreach programs of the various tribunals suggests that the ICC should employ a targeted approach rather than a blanketed approach to outreach. In different regions of the world, it is necessary to use different outreach mechanisms. Assuming that these tribunals have implemented effective outreach programs for their particular audience, then the implication for the ICC is that, where radio is the most effective form of communication in more rural areas, as suggested by the programs implemented by the ICTR and the ECCC, more technologically advanced and creative programs can be used in more developed areas, as suggested by the programs implemented by the ICTY.
The ICC must appeal to the type of audience targeted by the ICTY as well as the type of audience targeted by the ICTR and ECCC—it must have a strategy for outreach that is effective in some of the poorest countries of the world as well as some of the richest. In order to effectively communicate its message globally, the ICC must combine the strategies utilized by the ICTY, ICTR and ECCC.
Endnotes — (click the footnote reference number, or ↩ symbol, to return to location in text).
Sara Darehshori, Lessons for Outreach from the Ad Hoc Tribunals, The Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court, 14 New Eng. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 299, 301 (Dec. 3, 2008), available online, archived. ↩
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY Annual Outreach Report 2012 (2013), available online. ↩
Kristin Xueqin Wu, Paper, Experiences that Count: A Comparative Study of the ICTY and SCSL in Shaping the Image of Justice, 9 Utrecht L. Rev. 60 (Jan. 2013), available online. ↩
Darehshori, supra note 1, at 300. ↩
Tim Gallimore, Int’l Crim. Trib. for Rwanda, The ICTR Outreach Program: Integrating Justice and Reconciliation (Nov. 8, 2006), available online. ↩
Public Affairs, ECCC, available online (last visited Apr. 6, 2014). ↩