The mandate of the ICTY is to bring to justice those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the former Yugoslavia since 1991. The Tribunal has the authority to prosecute and try individuals for grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The work of the Tribunal contributes to the restoration and maintenance of peace in the region, by bringing a sense of justice to the victims and by deterring further violations of international humanitarian law.

The ICTY was established on 25 May 1993 by Resolution 827 of the United Nations Security Council. The Resolution was passed in response to the threat to international peace and security posed by the mass killings, ethnic cleansing and other serious violations of international humanitarian law occurring at that time in the territory of the former Yugoslavia

The ICTY was the first war crimes court established by the United Nations and the first international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals.

ICTY Presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina  

The offices of the ICTY in Bosnia and Herzegovina house staff from two separate departments of the Tribunal: firstly, the Office of the Prosecutor, and secondly, the Registry of the ICTY. The offices have the following functions:

  • To liaise with state authorities and international agencies on questions of co-operation with the ICTY
  • To act as a contact point for victims, potential witnesses, and other individuals and organisations wishing to provide information to the Tribunal
  • To serve as a logistical base for ICTY staff on mission, providing them with office space, vehicles, communications and language assistance
  • To facilitate the transfer of knowledge, cases and evidence to the War Crimes Chamber at the Court of BiH and other national courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina dealing with war crimes
  • To provide access to and further explanation of the Tribunal's work for individuals and groups interested in the work of the ICTY, including non-governmental organisations, victim associations, academic institutions, legal professionals and others
  • To act as the local public information office of the Tribunal’s Chambers and Registry, answering queries, giving interviews and providing other assistance to the media.