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Virtual Tribunals Public records from international criminal tribunal proceedings (1948-present)


The Virtual Tribunals initiative is a collaboration between the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice and Stanford University Libraries, and would not have been possible without the strong and ongoing commitments from both Professor David Cohen (Director, Handa Center) and Michael Keller (University Librarian). The project team comprises participants from several departments within Stanford Libraries and across the University, including Digital Library Systems and Services (DLSS), the Metadata Department, and the Handa Center.

Initial Implementation

The initial development of the Virtual Tribunals platform, supporting access to records from the Special Panel for Serious Crimes (SPSC) in East Timor, relied on the contributions of many. Penelope Van Tuyl (Associate Director, Handa Center) is the project's functional lead, responsible for providing subject expertise in international law and the SPSC's proceedings, serving as the project's primary stakeholder for the Handa Center and the wide community of envisioned users for the platform, and developing content for Virtual Tribunals. Kris Kasianovitz (Government Information Librarian, State, Local and International Documents) is the curatorial partner for the project and manages the collection development aspects for the project, including establishing intellectual property rights information, providing expertise on management on documentation from intergovernmental organizations, identifying related resources, developing content, and serving as a stakeholder for Stanford Libraries and its user community. Mark A. Matienzo (Collaboration and Interoperability Architect) is the Virtual Tribunals project manager, coordinating activities across the project team and serving as the primary liaison between the stakeholders and the technical implementation team.

The SPSC trial records are managed and delivered through the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) and Spotlight at Stanford, services managed by Digital Library Systems and Services. Hannah Frost (SDR Service Manager) and Benjamin Albritton (Argo Service Manager) were both vital to ensuring the trial records were managed, preserved, and accessible through SDR. Arcadia Falcone (Metadata Coordinator) led the development of the descriptive metadata model for documents, cases, people, organizations, and their relationships, central to the delivery and access of both the SPSC trial records and future collections to be added to the platform. The descriptive metadata was produced by Handa Center students Eva Borgwardt, Kyra Jasper, Alexis Kallen, and Hannah Smith, managed by Penelope Van Tuyl. Full text for the project was produced by Innodata, and we greatly appreciate the coordination and production efforts of Joan Meyer, Manny Camacho, Janet Chua-Petilla, Carl Anthony Gadiane, and Marilyn Galang in creating the text in accordance with the project's specifications and tight timeframe.

Catherine Aster (Spotlight Service Manager) provided her deep knowledge of the Spotlight software and understanding of Spotlight exhibit creator needs across Stanford Libraries. The software development team identified, built, and tested new features incorporated into the Virtual Tribunals platform and available to all Spotlight at Stanford exhibit creators, as well as those using the open source Spotlight framework. This team comprised the Software Engineers Chris Beer, Darren Hardy, Jessie Keck, Jack Reed, Camille Villa, and Drew Winget, User Experience Designer Gary Geisler, and was coordinated by Mark Matienzo and Catherine Aster. Rob Smith (Systems Administrator) served as the operations liaison during software development, providing support for system administration and operations needs. The project also relied heavily on strong support and strategic input from DLSS management, including Tom Cramer (Assistant University Librarian and Director, DLSS), Stuart Snydman (Associate Director for Digital Strategy), and Hannah Frost (Manager, Product and Service Management).

Finally, we wish to acknowledge the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, who funded the project supporting the initial implementation of Virtual Tribunals on Spotlight at Stanford. This support was essential in proving the viability of the vision for the Virtual Tribunals platform, and laying a solid foundation for what we hope will be future iterations of the project incorporating additional collections.