On 17th August 2017, the NBCPA welcomed Peter McCloskey. Peter McCloskey is currently a co-leader in the prosecution of General Ratko Mladić who is on trial, awaiting judgment at the ICTY on charges of Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes and Genocide, arising from the war in the Former Yugoslavia, 1992-1995.
Prior to the ICTY Mr McCloskey worked for 10 years at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section where he investigated and prosecuted throughout the United States.
During his lecture Mr McCloskey spoke about the legal experience he gained prosecuting police crimes and racial violence cases particularly in the Las Vegas and New Mexico area. He also spoke briefly about his experiences working on high profile cases such as the Rodney King case. In this case the grand juries played a critical role in ensuring that justice prevailed.
In his view, the Hague provides an enriching environment in which to work owing to the diversity of the staff. He described his colleagues as being ‘very bright’ and ‘very interested’ and originating from countries all over the world.
When the ICTY was established, both prosecutors and investigators were expected to work alongside each other from the very early stages of a case (as this was thought to be beneficial). At the time, there had not been a large scale war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg trials, therefore there were few precedents to follow.
Mr McCloskey seemed to be optimistic about the legacy of the ICTY but said that working on war crimes had really affected him. As a result of this he intends to visit some of the sites where people lost their lives during the Srebrenica Massacre in order to pay his respects.