For the last twenty years, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has given a voice to victims as it prosecuted those accused of grave human rights abuses in the Yugoslav conflict. The International Criminal Court (ICC), established just over ten years ago, also plays a vital role in holding violators responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. These anniversaries provide a valuable opportunity to reflect on the past and look to the future of international courts and tribunals and how they promote and protect human rights globally.
On April 4, the Managing Global Order Project at Brookings and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted a discussion to take stock of the ability of the ICTY, the ICC, and other international and regional justice mechanisms to hold leaders accountable for grave human rights abuses. Panelists included: Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court; Theodor Meron, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and its successor the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals; and Ambassador Stephen Rapp, ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Senior Fellow Ted Piccone, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks. Abiodun Williams, president of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, moderated the discussion.