One of the Key Issues Regarding the Protection of Fundamental Rights is the Issue of the Rights of Victims of War Crimes
The second in a row of briefings/discussions relating to the establishment of transitional justice in the process of the Republic of Serbia’s EU integration was held on July 3rd, 2015 in the premises of the Humanitarian Law Center’s (HLC) Library. Representatives of embassies of EU member and Switzerland and representatives of the EU Delegation, OSCE Mission to Serbia, Heinrich Böll Stiftung organization, and Victimology Society of Serbia participated in the meeting.
The subject of the meeting was the protection of the rights of victims of war crimes and other serious violations of human rights in the context of the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Since the issue of the treatment of victims of war crimes represents one of the key issues in the field of human rights protection, the HLC deems it natural that the rights of victims be part of the content of the Chapter 23, which is particularly focused on the establishment of European standards in the respect and protection of fundamental human rights.
The HLC Executive Director, Sandra Orlović, informed the participants in the meeting about the position of victims of war crimes in Serbia and the current bearing of the relevant institutions towards this issue. Following her remarks, HLC Legal Director Milica Kostić presented the international standards for the protection of the rights of victims of violations of human rights and pointed to the domestic legal framework and the practice in the area of the protection of victims of war crimes in Serbia. Saša Gajin from the Center for Advanced Legal Studies (CALS) and professor at the Faculty of Law of The Union University in Belgrade presented the Model Law on the Rights of Civilian Victims of Human Rights Violations Committed During and In Connection With Armed Conflicts in the Period 1991-2001, produced in a joint effort by the CALS and the HLC.
The meeting represents a part of the HLC’s endeavours to emphasize to collocutors and decision makers the need for making a process for establishing proper mechanisms of transitional justice as part of the negotiation content within Chapter 23 of Serbia’s EU accession negotiations, relating to judiciary and fundamental rights.