23 September 16

BIRN Holds Transitional Justice Training in Sarajevo

BIRN Hub opened a two-day training course on transitional justice reporting for 23 journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia.


The two-day training course began in Sarajevo on Thursday with the aim of introducing the 23 reporters to the topic of transitional justice from a journalistic perspective and deepening their knowledge of war crimes trials and related issues.

The training started with a regional conference entitled ‘War Crimes Proceedings and Regional Cooperation’ which gathered prosecutors, experts and journalists from across the former Yugoslavia.

Journalists had the chance to watch a debate which was also addressed by representatives from the OSCE, the EU-rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The prosecutors talked about challenges to war crimes prosecutions in the Balkans, particularly in light of the ICTY closing its doors next year.

The training continued with an afternoon session which hosted Kevin Hughes, legal adviser to the chief prosecutor at the ICTY, who gave an overview of international courts and tribunals as well as the ICTY’s achievements and legacy.

Sven Milekic, a journalist from Croatia who works on BIRN’s Balkan Transitional Justice project, outlined the concept of transitional justice as well as the role of journalists in war crimes trials.

Denis Dzidic, a journalist from Bosnia and Herzegovina who works on BIRN’s Balkan Transitional Justice project, gave an insight to transitional justice resources for journalists as well as looking at the obstacles facing transitional justice reporters and how to deal with them.  

Dzidic then gave an overview of war crimes trials in Bosnia and Herzegovina together with Ivan Jovanovic, an international humanitarian law expert who gave an overview of war crimes trials in Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

As part of the training session, BIRN launched its War Crimes Verdicts Map - an interactive tool intended to provide an overview of court rulings on the crimes that were committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Comprising a total of 386 verdicts, it represents a unique database of publicly-available final judgements issued by national courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia.

It also includes verdicts handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

On the second day of the training course, the journalists visited the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they had a guided tour and attended a war crime case hearing at which the closing arguments were given by the state prosecutor.

After the visit to the court, the group was given a presentation at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’s Liaison Office in Sarajevo by the office representative, Almir Alic.

At the afternoon session, the journalists met with Boris Grubesic, the head of the Public Relations Department at the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Murat Tahirovic, president of the Association of Victims and Witnesses of Genocide, and Lejla Softic from the International Commission on Missing Persons.

BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina journalists Erna Mackic and Marija Tausan then gave a presentation about the challenges and pitfalls of court reporting.

The conference and the training session are part of BIRN’s Balkan Transitional Justice initiative, funded by the European Commission, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The project aims to improve the general public’s understanding of transitional justice issues in former Yugoslav countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

To find out more about the conference: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/birn-to-host-regional-conference-on-war-crimes-prosecution-09-20-2016

Fill out my online form.

Latest News and Events


Balkan Insight Stories Feature in Prominent World Media

In recent weeks, some of the most prestigious media around the globe have quoted or republished articles from BIRN’s flagship publication Balkan Insight, reaffirming its position as a source of trusted news from the Balkans for an international audience. 


Internet Offers Income Perspectives, BIRN Serbia Debate Hears

People in Serbia are willing to pay for good content on the Internet but there are major issues with clickbait articles, badly-produced news and commercially-led content, a BIRN Serbia debate heard.


Money Buys Media Influence, BIRN Serbia Tells Conference

Buying influence over editorial policy and positive coverage through state advertising is one of the most effective mechanisms of media control in Serbia, Tanja Maksic from BIRN Serbia told a regional conference.


BIRN BiH Widens Focus, Addresses New Challenges

In its 11th year, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) began reporting on corruption, organised crime and terrorism, while maintaining a leading role in monitoring war crimes and the judiciary.

PDK and Nisma fined after complaints from BIRN & Internews Kosova

Kosovo parties reprimanded for violating Kosovo law on elections during Drenas runoff mayoral elections.


Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence – 2016 winners chosen!

Serbeze Haxhiaj was awarded first prize for the 2016 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence programme at a closing ceremony in Pristina on Friday.


Krypometer, Kosovo’s first fact checker

Kallxo.com launches a new tool to rate the truthfulness of public statements made by high public officials. We called it Krypometer. Here’s why.


BIRN Regional Director Gives Media Freedom Warning

Real press freedom ceased to exist in Serbia long ago, BIRN regional director Gordana Igric told Deutsche Welle in an article about attacks on free speech in the Balkans.


Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Stages Awards Event

From December 7-10, Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence participants will gather in Pristina for the final seminar and awards ceremony to honour journalists who have successfully completed this year’s programme. 


BIRN Serbia Holds Debate on Country’s Media Future

Traditional media in Serbia will have to adapt to new media and learn from them in order to survive on the market, a BIRN Serbia debate entitled ‘Media in Serbia in 2020’ was told.

In This Article