Post-war justice and reconciliation in the region of former Yugoslavia
The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia was accompanied by three major wars: in Croatia (1991-1995), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) and Kosovo* (1998-1999). In addition, there were two smaller-scale, shorter conflicts in Slovenia (June-July 1991) and in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (January-August 2001). These conflicts were marked by gross human rights violations, including ‘ethnic cleansing' and atrocities unseen in Europe since World War II.
The legacy of this violent past still lingers across the region of former Yugoslavia endangering the full enjoyment of human rights, democracy and rule of law. The return to normalcy has been slow and major obstacles remain. The lack of a systematic approach across the region to tackle past gross human rights violations has resulted in impunity and the erosion of rule of law. Concerning war-related criminal proceedings, witness protection systems remain limited in their capacity and reportedly fail to inspire confidence and trust among existing and potential witnesses. War victims do not have access to adequate, effective or proportionate reparation for the harms they have suffered.
During his country visits and continuous dialogue with national authorities and civil society in the region, the Commissioner takes note of the progress achieved. He also identifies obstacles to the effective resolution of the pending issues concerning post-war justice and reconciliation and provides advice on ways to ensure the respect for human rights and thereby durable peace in the region of former Yugoslavia. (More)
Positions on post-war justice and durable peace in the former Yugoslavia
A summary of conclusions and recommendations concerning post-war justice and durable peace in the former Yugoslavia based on the Commissioner's country-monitoring reports, viewpoints and human rights comments.
Case law of the European Court of Human Rights
Marguš v. Croatia, judgment of 13 November 2012, concerning the application of amnesty on a war-related crimes case (not final)
Kuric and others v. Slovenia, Grand Chamber judgment of 26 June 2012, concerning the ‘erased' persons
Janowiec and others v. Russia, judgment of 16 April 2012, concerning missing persons in the Katyn case
Palic v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, judgment of 15 February 2011, concerning a state's procedural obligation to investigate into a case of missing person
Jularic v. Croatia, judgment of 20 January 2011, concerning inadequate and ineffective investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing of the applicant's husband
Skendžic and Krznaric v. Croatia, judgment of 20 January 2011, concerning ineffectiveness and the lack of independence of the authorities involved in investigating the disappearance of the applicants' close relative
Sejdic and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Grand Chamber judgment of 22 December 2009, concerning the applicants' ineligibility to stand for election to the House of Peoples and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ground of their Roma and Jewish origin
UN Treaty Bodies jurisprudence
UN Human Rights Committee, Communication No 1510/2006, Dušan Vojnovic v. Croatia, Views of 30/03/2009 (case concerning proceedings in relation with the termination of the author's specially protected tenancy)
Documents by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers
PACE resolutions and recommendations relating to the post-war justice
Resolution 1096 (1996) Measures to dismantle the heritage of former communist totalitarian systems
Resolution 1785 (2011) on the obligation of member and observer states of the Council of Europe to co-operate in the prosecution of war crimes
Resolution 1786 (2011) on the reconciliation and political dialogue between the countries of the former Yugoslavia
Resolution 1784 (2011) on the protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans
Recommendation 1880 (2009) on history teaching in conflict and post-conflict areas
Council of Europe treaties
- European Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitation to Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes
- European Convention on Extradition
- Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Extradition
- Second Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Extradition
- Third Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Extradition
- European Convention on Nationality
- Council of Europe Convention on the avoidance of statelessness in relation to State succession
* "All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo."
speeches and statements
- Freedom of expression and democracy in the digital age - Opportunities, rights, responsibilities
- "Safety of online media actors as a precondition for media pluralism and freedom of expression"
- "How to ensure that the Internet remains an open and public forum for exercising freedom of opinion and expression and facilitating other human rights and fundamental freedoms"