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"I declare this a false tribunal...": Writing historical narratives at the ICTY

Published: 24 January 2018 at 12:38

Dr Aldo Zammit Borda

Dr Aldo Zammit Borda presents research on Yugoslavian historical narratives for Memory Studies Association

When Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), he refused to recognise the legitimacy of that Tribunal, stating "I declare this a false tribunal…". As his trial progressed, it became clear that the historical narratives of the Balkan conflict Milošević sought to advance clashed with the Prosecutor's narratives. 

With the ICTY shutting down at the end of December 2017, it has become increasingly important to assess the historical narratives that this Tribunal put forward in its case law. In this context, Acting Head of Anglia Law School Dr Aldo Zammit Borda presented research on this topic at the Second Annual Conference of the Memory Studies Association, also held in December. This research was co-authored by Dr Luigi Prosperi, formerly Associate Legal Officer at the ICTY.

The panel was titled 'Law, International Law And Collective Memory', and also included presentations by Professor Moshe Hirsch (chair), Maria Von Hofmannsthal Chair in International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Dr Michal Shur-Ofry, Senior Lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.