Prosecuting the Genocide in Bosnia

Oct 11 2017 Posted: 16:13 IST

NUI Galway to host public lecture by leading international war crimes lawyer Peter McCloskey

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a free public lecture on the prosecution of the Bosnian genocide on Thursday, 19 October at 7:30pm.

The lecture will be given by Peter McCloskey, a senior trial attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia who has been working for two decades on cases concerning the massacres which took place in Srenbrenica in July 1995.

Peter McCloskey has been closely involved in the prosecution of twenty individuals indicted by the Tribunal for crimes committed in Srebrenica, including most prominently Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić and General Ratko Mladić. He will speak of his experience in prosecuting genocide, the “crimes of crimes,” which aims at the destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague is one of the few international courts to ever prosecute the crime of genocide, the other being the tribunal for Rwanda. Both courts have almost completed their work and this lecture offers a valuable opportunity to reflect on their efforts in addressing the crime of genocide.

For Peter McCloskey, these prosecutions provided an opportunity to bring to light the organised and systematic murder of over 7,000 people at Srebrenica. “Over the years,” he explains, “we grew to know many of the survivors, witnesses and victims of Srebrenica and learned from them how much they appreciated our effort and how much our work meant to them.  From their words and warm affection it appears we have been able to bring a small measure of peace and justice to those Bosnians and the Bosnian Muslim community as a whole.”

“Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights said: “We are honoured that Peter McCloskey will travel to Galway to share his vast experience in the prosecution of notorious war criminals. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has been a ground-breaking development in international affairs, demonstrating that perpetrators of serious international crimes can be called to account before a judicial body, despite the various legal, political and practical challenges that this may have presented.”

The lecture takes place at 7:30pm on Thursday, 19 October in the Tyndall Theatre, NUI Galway concourse.



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