Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) flags the suspicious intentions of the Republic of Serbia’s judicial authorities, evinced by substituting a member of trial chamber in the case of Srebrenica, seven years after the proceedings commenced. This elicited doubts in bringing to an end the trial of seven former members of the Special Brigade of the Republic of Srpska Ministry of the Interior for the murder of at least 1,313 Bosniak civilians and, thus, in pronouncing fair judgments. Although the Criminal Procedure Code sets forth that the main trial can be restarted should the composition of the trial chamber change, in this case it is the circumstances that brought about the replacement of the chamber member that are contestable.
The High Court Council has not met its obligation to take a reasoned decision on renewal of the judge’s term of office, which resulted in imminent replacement of the trial chamber member. In order to end the war crime trials without prolongation and to protect the victims’ family members and witnesses from additional traumatisation, HLC calls upon the High Court Council to observe its obligations and act in the interest of fair and just completion of trials, without further delays.