Office of Public Prosecutor Instrumental in Shielding Government Institutions from Responsibility: Claims against Commissioner for Information of Public Importance

Office of Public Prosecutor Instrumental in Shielding Government Institutions from Responsibility: Claims against Commissioner for Information of Public Importance

Vojni arhivIn April and May 2016, the Office of the State Public Prosecutor (SPP) lodged two claims with the Administrative Court seeking the annulment of the decisions of the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection (Commissioner), by which the Commissioner had ordered the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) information of public importance concerning the professional engagement of two officers of the Yugoslav Army (VJ) during the Kosovo conflict. The HLC considers that the SPP has abused its legal powers in order to shield individuals and institutions from responsibility for past crimes to the detriment of the public’s right to know, and that these claims constitute in effect an open attack on the office of the Commissioner.

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More efficient prosecution of war crimes and respect for rights of civilian victims of war – condition for EU membership

More efficient prosecution of war crimes and respect for rights of civilian victims of war – condition for EU membership

CoEU

An intergovernmental conference of representatives of EU member states and Serbia was held in Brussels on 18 July 2016, marking the opening of Chapter 23 (Judiciary and fundamental rights) and Chapter 24 (Justice, freedom and security) within the negotiations for Serbian accession to the EU. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) welcomes this step in the European integration of Serbia, but also points out that the institutions of Serbia still have a lot of work to do in applying the mechanisms of transitional justice and dealing with the legacy of the recent past.


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With regard to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Serbia to reject the appeal of victims’ family members

With regard to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Serbia to reject the appeal of victims’ family members

Sjeverin mapaCase analysis: Republic of Serbia exempt from any responsibility for the crime against the inhabitants of Sjeverin

The Constitutional Court of Serbia has rejected an appeal made by the family members of sixteen Serbian citizens of Bosniak nationality from the village of Sjeverin, near Priboj, who were kidnapped and murdered on 22nd October 1992 by members of the Bosnian Serb unit called “Avengers” (Osvetnici). With this decision, the Republic of Serbia has put an end to requests by family members of the victims to be paid compensation. By acting in this way, Serbia has underlined its denial of responsibility for this crime. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which has represented the victims’ family members from Sjeverin in these proceedings, will address the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on their behalf.


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Case Study: Courts in Serbia in Service of Abolition of State’s Responsibility

Case Study: Courts in Serbia in Service of Abolition of State’s Responsibility

Study created with regard to the Ruling delivered by the Supreme Court of Cassation quashing the final judgement granting compensation of damages to two former detainees in Šljivovica camp

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The Republic of Serbia Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC), deciding upon the request for revision, quashed the final judgement by which the Republic of Serbia was obliged to pay the compensation of damages to Enes Bogilović and Mušan Džebo, because of the torture and inhuman treatment they suffered by members of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior (MUP) during their detention in the Šljivovica detention camp located near Bajina Bašta during 1995. The case, which has already been pending for more than eight years, is now sent for a new retrial and the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which represents Mr. Bogilović and Mr. Džebo in this case, holds that the ruling delivered by the Court of the highest instance in Serbia quashing the judgement represents clear proof that judicial bodies have an intention to abolish the state from responsibility for the serious violations of law and international law committed by its officers during 1990s.


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Initiative for Assessment of the Constitutionality of the Law on the Rights of Civilian Invalids of War

Initiative for Assessment of the Constitutionality of the Law on the Rights of Civilian Invalids of War

Ustavni sudThe Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) filed an initiative for the assessment of the constitutionality of the Law on the Rights of Civilian Invalids of War with the Constitutional Court of Serbia, due to the non-compliance of its provisions with the Constitution of Serbia and international human rights conventions. The HLC expects the Constitutional Court to act upon this initiative and declare the disputed legal provisions (Articles 2 and 3 of the Law) unconstitutional and annul them, which would then open a path for the passing of a new law which would guarantee comprehensive rights to civilian victims of armed conflicts, in line with the Constitution and the international obligations undertaken by the state of Serbia.

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Court’s Decision to Refuse Extradition of Three Members of Serbian Radical Party a Result of Political Calculations of Government of Serbia

Court’s Decision to Refuse Extradition of Three Members of Serbian Radical Party a Result of Political Calculations of Government of Serbia

Logo FHPThe Chamber of the Department for War Crimes of the Higher Court in Belgrade rendered a ruling on May 18th, 2016, dismissing the request for the arrest and extradition of three officials from the Serbian Radical Party, namely Petar Jojić, Vjerica Radeta and Jovo Ostojić, to the International Criminal Tribunal For the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), to stand trial in the case of Contempt of Court, with the explanation that the legal requirements for granting this request have not been met.


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Serbian Army Removed Public Information for the Purpose of Protecting General Diković

Serbian Army Removed Public Information for the Purpose of Protecting General Diković

Logo FHPOne of the allegations in the lawsuit claiming violation of the right to reputation and honour filed by the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army (VS), Ljubiša Diković, against the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and its founder Nataša Kandić, before the First Basic Court in Belgrade, relates to the position he held in the Yugoslav Army during 1994 and 1995. In the challenged part of the “Ljubiša Diković Dossier” produced by the HLC, it is alleged that in the period in question, General Diković was the Commander of the 16th Border Battalion of the Yugoslav Army (VJ), members of which arrested Bosniak refugees from Bosnia in July 1995 and handed them over to the Bosnian Serb Army, after which some of them were killed. Diković claimed [available in Serbian] before the court that he was discharged from the position of Commander of the 16th Border Battalion on July 28th, 1994, by order of the Chief of Personal Administration.

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Press Statement with Regard to the Judgement Rendered upon the Lawsuit Filed by General Diković against HLC and Nataša Kandić

Press Statement with Regard to the Judgement Rendered upon the Lawsuit Filed by General Diković against HLC and Nataša Kandić

sud-d-kThe First Basic Court in Belgrade has rendered a judgement upholding in part the lawsuit filed by the Serbian Army Chief of General Staff for the compensation of damages caused by the psychological pain suffered due to the violation of his honour and reputation inflicted by the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), who published allegedly false factual accusations in the ‘Ljubiša Diković Dossier’, and Nataša Kandić, who exposed in public allegedly false factual accusations and value judgements, which were of an offensive nature and violated human dignity. The Court granted the amount of 550,000 RSD in damages, assessing that the amount requested (1,000,000 RSD) was set too high. 

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The first judgment on the responsibility of the state for the crimes in Kosovo: Compensation to families of victims of the crime in Podujevo

The first judgment on the responsibility of the state for the crimes in Kosovo: Compensation to families of victims of the crime in Podujevo

I_presuda_o_odgovornosti_drzaveThe First Basic Court in Belgrade delivered the judgment obliging the Republic of Serbia to pay compensation in the total amount of 25.9 million dinars to 24 closest relatives of fourteen women and children who were killed in front of their own houses in Podujevo in March 1999 by members of the Ministry of Interior unit “Scorpions”. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), which represents the families of victims, considers the court made the right decision after a nine-year proceeding adding that in the second instance proceeding, due to the nature of the case, the court must compare the amount of compensation to standards of the European Court of Human Rights in similar cases.

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