History for the Future: Judicial Heritage in The Hague

On 29 January, The Hague Institute had the pleasure to host and organize together with the City of The Hagueand The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL) an Inspiration Session on “History for the Future: Judicial Heritage in The Hague”.

To this end, the informal discussion welcomed prominent international law practitioners, key academics and archivists, government representatives, innovative entrepreneurs and other institutions engaged in the mission of global justice.

On 27 January 2015, the ICTY began its first handover of judicial records to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which was assigned responsibility for the continuation of essential functions of the ICTY and the ICTR, and the preservation of their legacy. In addition, the ICTY is now trying its last cases, and the latest decision of the ICTY – on 30 January 2015 – to uphold the convictions of five men for their role in the Srebrenica massacre, should only reinforce the relevance of this event and the importance of making the materials as accessible as possible.

Salient questions at the heart of the discussion included “how can we activate the archives”, “who are the users?” and “how can they use these materials?” Some of the main users identified during the event were victims, witnesses and their families, international courts and tribunals, national courts, the legal community, researchers and academics, historians and journalists, affected communities, students etc.

Moreover, the discussion reflected on how these different users could best access materials and which physical or digital resources could be envisioned for this purpose.

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