School of Transitional Justice: To know facts, not myths

School of Transitional Justice: To know facts, not myths

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On Monday, July 30, 2018, the Fifth National School of Transitional Justice organised by the Humanitarian Law Center completed its course. The School participants were 25 students of law, security, political science and history, activists from NGOs, journalists, law apprentices and history educators from Belgrade, Surdulica, Mladenovac, Smederevo, Ribarica, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Požarevac, Pančevo, Bor and Niš.

They acquired knowledge about the concept of transitional justice and its mechanisms, and its application in Serbia in the context of the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and considered the case studies of Srebrenica, Kosovo, Vukovar, Oluja, Hrtkovci, Skočić, and Zvornik. Besides the opportunity to learn about the court-established facts regarding these crimes, the participants were also able to assimilate some of the facts from the victims’ perspective. In this manner, they had the opportunity to hear about the experiences of Suvada Selimovic, from the town of Djulići near Zvornik, and Zijo Ribić, from the town of Skočić near Zvornik, who talked about pre-war life in their villages with their neighbours, about the war events they witnessed, and their fight for truth and justice after the war ended. The agenda also included a visit to monuments in Belgrade which bear witness to the currently dominant ethnically-biased manner of remembering victims’ suffering during the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

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HLC presented the Report on the Implementation of the National Strategy for War Crimes Prosecution and Policy Paper: Accounting for Missing Persons from the Armed Conflicts of the 1990s in the Former Yugoslavia

HLC presented the Report on the Implementation of the National Strategy for War Crimes Prosecution and Policy Paper: Accounting for Missing Persons from the Armed Conflicts of the 1990s in the Former Yugoslavia

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On Friday, July 27, 2018, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) presented its second Report on the Implementation of the National Strategy for War Crimes Prosecution. Opening the discussion on the report, Jelena Krstić from the HLC pointed to the fact that the problems that led to the adoption of the National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes are still current: a small number of indictments, the lack of criteria for prioritising cases, a slowdown in trials, an inadequate witness and victims protection system, as well as inefficient regional cooperation. At the same time, the precondition Serbia needs to fulfill in order to join the European Union (EU) is to make visible progress in the prosecution of war crimes before domestic courts. Bearing in mind the current dynamics of the trials, Serbia risks losing a historical opportunity to prosecute as many war crimes perpetrators as possible. Namely, as time goes by, victims, witnesses and perpetrators are coming closer to the moment of death, and their memories are becoming more and more unstable; everyday socio-economic problems are taking precedence over concerns regarding events that occurred several decades ago, and the perspective of the future is becoming more and more important in relation to the need to solve the heritage of the past. Krstić concluded that for a more effective processing of war crimes the political determination of the institutions of Serbia is crucial, but that strong support and encouragement by the EU is also still needed.


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(srpski) Javni čas o Operaciji „Oluja“

(srpski) Javni čas o Operaciji „Oluja“

Sorry, this entry is only available in srpski.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Presentation of the Second Report on the Implementation of the National War Crimes Prosecution Strategy and the Policy Paper: Accounting for Missing Persons from the Armed Conflicts of the 1990s in the Former Yugoslavia

ANNOUNCEMENT: Presentation of the Second Report on the Implementation of the National War Crimes Prosecution Strategy and the Policy Paper: Accounting for Missing Persons from the Armed Conflicts of the 1990s in the Former Yugoslavia

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On Friday, 27 July 2018, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) will present the “Second Report on the Implementation of the National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes” and the “Policy Paper: Accounting for Missing Persons from the Armed Conflicts of the 1990s in the Former Yugoslavia”. The presentation will take place at 11:00 in the Great Hall of the Media Centre (Terazije 3, 2nd Floor).

On 20 February 2016, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the first National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes 2016-2020. The HLC has been monitoring the implementation of the National Strategy since its adoption, in order to offer its independent assessment of and findings on the state of implementation of the National Strategy. The initial HLC report on the implementation of the National Strategy was released in December 2017.The second HLC report on the implementation of the National Strategy (Report) provides an overview of the implementation of activities in the period from 1 December 2017 to 01 June 2018, in eight areas covered by the National Strategy. The report points to key deficiencies and identifies recommendations for improving the situation in these areas.

The HLC will also present its “Policy Paper: Accounting for Missing Persons from the Armed Conflicts of the 1990s in the Former Yugoslavia”, which provides an overview of the current results and of the challenges that have arisen in the process of searching for persons who went missing during armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and proposes recommendations for improving efficiency in this area.

Speakers:

  • Jelena Krstic, Humanitarian Law Center
  • Višnja Šijačić, Humanitarian Law Center
  • Gordana Đikanović, journalist from Pristina, member of the Association of the Families of Kosovo and Metohija Victims
  • Matthew Holliday, International Commission on Missing Persons (TBC)

Simultaneous interpretation into English will be provided.

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The Negative Impact the Court of Appeal Judgment in the Skočić Case will Have on War Crimes Trials in Serbia

The Negative Impact the Court of Appeal Judgment in the Skočić Case will Have on War Crimes Trials in Serbia

Presuda Skočić - MC

With regard to the judgment rendered by the Court of Appeal in Belgrade in the case of the crime committed in July 1992 in the town of Skočić near Zvornik, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) held a press conference on July 6th, 2018. When deciding upon the appeal, the Court of Appeal in Belgrade upheld the acquittal of members of the „Sima’s Chetniks“ unit for the destruction of a mosque and murder of 27 Roma civilians committed in the village of Skočić in July 1992, but modified the judgment in the case of the accused Zoran Alić, Zoran Đurđević and Tomislav Gavrić, finding them guilty of inhumane treatment, violation of physical integrity, sexual humiliation and rape of protected witnesses.

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EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Press Conference regarding the Decision of the Court of Appeals in the Skočić Case

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Press Conference regarding the Decision of the Court of Appeals in the Skočić Case

Logo FHPOn June 26, 2018, the Belgrade Court of Appeals issued a verdict confirming the acquittal of members of the “Sima’s Chetniks” unit for the demolition of the mosque and killing of 27 Roma civilians in the village of Skočić (Zvornik, BiH) in July 1992, whilst in relation to the accused Zoran Alić, Zoran Đurđević and Tomislav Gavrić, the Court changed the previous verdict, and sentenced them to prison for rape and inhuman treatment of the three injured parties, protected witnesses.


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“Targeting History and Memory”

“Targeting History and Memory”

Heritage-narrative-cover-page_214x126.jpg_214x126In the period 2016-2018, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) participated in the implementation of the project “Targeting History and Memory”, supported by the EU Programme, “Europe for Citizens”. Together with the HLC, the partners in the implementation of this project were the Center for Dealing with the Past (Documenta) from Croatia, the History Museum of BH, and Europa Nostra from the Netherlands, with the SENSE Center for Transitional Justice from Croatia taking the lead.


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Justice deprived of majority of victims

Justice deprived of majority of victims

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On June 28th 2018, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) presented its Report, “Circumventing Justice: The Statute of Limitation as a Mechanism for Denying War Victims the Right to Compensation”.  The Report analyses the practice of courts of the Republic of Serbia in proceedings for the compensation of damages which have occurred as a consequence of the conflicts during the 1990s, and the way in which the courts have interpreted the legal provisions that apply to the statute of limitation for damages arising from a criminal offence.


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