The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (the Mechanism) is a United Nations organization tasked inter alia with completing outstanding cases of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and with carrying out other residual functions of these ad hoc Tribunals, including tracking the remaining fugitives, protecting witnesses, managing and preserving the archives, and assisting national jurisdictions.

Virtual activities

On 20 September 2020, the Mechanism will participate in this year’s online International Just Peace Month by virtually ‘opening its doors’ to the public. Live interactive sessions will be held and the majority of tailored events and content will remain publicly available on our dedicated webpage and Facebook page throughout Just Peace month. This content will also be available on the dedicated webpage of the City of The Hague.

This year’s virtual visit to the Mechanism will offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about the history of the ad hoc Tribunals and the Mechanism, their landmark cases on genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, as well as the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Visitors will be able to see inside the Mechanism’s premises, join a virtual tour of its courtrooms, and watch video messages from the Mechanism’s President, Prosecutor and Registrar, as well as a long-serving Judge.

The Mechanism commenced operating in 2012 and has two branches: one in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, and one in The Hague, The Netherlands. At The Hague branch, the Mechanism is primarily concerned with tasks inherited from the ICTY, while the Arusha branch continues the tasks inherited from the ICTR. The ICTY and the ICTR were the first two United Nations international criminal tribunals established to prosecute persons alleged to be responsible for the most serious crimes that took place during the 1990s conflicts in the Balkans and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Established in 1993 and 1994, respectively, the ICTY and the ICTR irreversibly changed the landscape of international criminal and humanitarian law and ushered in a new era where it is no longer a question whether individuals who commit grave crimes should be held criminally responsible.

Having completed their mandates in 2015 (ICTR) and 2017 (ICTY), the remaining tasks of these Tribunals were taken over by the Mechanism, which has operated as a standalone institution since January 2018.

In carrying out its various functions, the Mechanism maintains the legacies of these two pioneering Tribunals and strives to reflect best practices in the field of international criminal justice. Currently ongoing at the Mechanism’s Hague branch are appeal proceedings in the case of Prosecutor v. Ratko Mladić, as well as a retrial in the case of Prosecutor v. Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, among other judicial matters.  At the Arusha branch, contempt proceedings in the multi-accused case of Prosecutor v. Maximilien Turinabo et al. are continuing. Further, following the arrest in May 2020 of ICTR fugitive Félicien Kabuga, the Mechanism is presently awaiting a decision by the French authorities regarding whether he will be transferred to the Mechanism for trial.

More information

For more information, see the programme and technical details about how to join our virtual (interactive) sessions and events.

Replays of all our events are available on our IRMCT Just Peace page shortly after the event ends. Please keep checking the page for updates.

We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s International Just Peace Month at the Mechanism!

Virtual Courtroom Tour:

Judge Orie’s presentation:

Just Peace | Geoff Roberts, President of the Association of Defence Counsel (ADC-ICT):