Saturday, September 22, 2007

The ICTY Archive

When the ICTY shuts down in 2010 it will leave behind a paper legacy of transcripts, documents and other information related to the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the subsequent war crimes trials in the Hague. Recently, the ICTY sent out a questionnaire to government institutions, NGOs and historians in the Balkans asking them their opinion on the structure and location of the archive.


Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

The ICTY Archive should be moved to Sarajevo to serve as a valuable historical and judicial research tool to the World. Remember, the Oriental Institute in Sarajevo (which had priceless collection of documents, books, manuscripts, etc) was burned to the ground by the Serb forces in 1992. The ICTY Archive could fill void of precious documents that were destroyed during horrible war of the 90s.

Owen said...

It's hard to think of a more appropriate place - apart from Belgrade, where it might have most value as an educative tool.

Shaina said...

I think Sarajevo would be the ideal location. For one, it was the geographical center of the former SFRY; and it has an airport which means transportation from Zagreb, Belgrade, The Hague, etc shouldn't be a problem.
Secondly, Bosnia was the hardest hit by the war; it would be symbolic, and apprpriate, IMO, to have the archives located in the country where most (although certainly not *all* of the war crimes & acts of aggression took place)
Third, there are still many war crimes trials going on in Sarajevo; I'm sure having the archives located in Sarajevo would be convenient. So, for reasons both practical & "sybmolic" Sarajevo is the ideal location-JMO.

Of course, I would like to make the files easy to access for everyone, particularly those in the actual countries involved. I think alongside having the "hard copies" in Sarajevo, a computer database can be created with all of the files online, for easy access; so that everyone, in particular, victims, war crimes prosecutors, students, etc, can have access to these files.
I think a computer digitalized system would be much less hassle that making hard copies of all, or most of the files; and still allow anyone an equal opportunity to access the content of the files.
Of course, I'm sure creating and implimenting such a plan is going to be long, but I think it would be well worth it.

Kirk Johnson said...

Depending on how voluminous the archives are, digitizing the complete records might not be that easy. It takes time and money to do that; and then someone has to keep the server up and so forth.

It's a good suggestion, though. A virtual archive would be a good way to show all the people of the former Yugoslavia that they have an interest--and a stake--in the work of the ICTY.

Shaina said...

If an digital archive is not possible, perhaps the hypothetical Sarajevo archive center can serve as sort of an 'inter-library loan' making copies of documents for whoever requests them?
I think whatever form the archives takes, it will require substantial money to maintain the archives.

Anonymous said...

Have you red the Vukovar trial ruling?