Week 2 at the ICTY

It’s hard to beat the excitement of last week, but this week has been anything but dull. We’ve spent the last four days waiting for the new start date of the trial and found out this afternoon that it’s resuming on June 25 – which is great news for us interns because it means we’ll still get to do meaningful things with the trial while we’re here.

Again, confidentiality prevents me from disclosing many details of what I’m doing at work, but I’ll try to be as specific as I can. This week we’ve been working on witness preparation. We each have responsibility for two, and I’m lucky enough to have the very first one. We’ve mostly been reading through the witnesses’ statements. This is both very interesting and very intense – one of my witnesses was only 14 when the war arrived in his hometown, and what he experienced subsequently was awful. My other witness had a completely different experience that was less horrible for him as an individual but no less difficult to read. I’m grateful to be doing something that has such a direct connection to the case and that also provides me with an opportunity to really broaden and deepen my knowledge of what happened in the Balkans during the 1990s. I have only a very, very broad understanding, and it really helps to see even one individual perspective.

I also got to draft a motion today – which is a really big deal even though there’s a pretty standard format! Can’t say much more, but reading all the motions that come through my inbox every day definitely helps to highlight some of the more important rules of procedure in the ICTY as well as how the lawyers on both sides use them strategically.




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