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HLC » Blog Archive » Monitoring War Crime Trials and ethnically and politically motivated crimes

Monitoring War Crime Trials and ethnically and politically motivated crimes

Description:

Kosovo’s judiciary system is still engaged in prosecuting war crime cases related to the conflict that has ended fifteen years ago. Due to the complexity of certain cases, the presence of international judges and prosecutors was introduced in the Kosovo judiciary through the EULEX. Although the creation of a new Special Court for crimes committed between 1998 and 2000 was announced, local judiciary is still a chief pillar for bringing justice to victims of the war crimes and human rights abuses. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has almost ended its work and a small number of cases related to Kosovo crimes are finalized several years ago. HLC Kosovo is the only organization to systematically cover, monitor and analyze war crimes trial and trials for ethnically and/or politically motivated crimes at Kosovo level. For this reason, the entire professional and general audience relies on the HLC Kosovo’s reporting in order to receive unbiased information about the trials; which strengthened the HLC Kosovo position as the main source to provide recommendations on best ways of improving the performance of the judiciary, as well as legislation and procedures applied in trials for war crimes and ethnically and/or politically motivated crimes.

Despite HLC Kosovo’s efforts, general lack of awareness and knowledge about war crimes trials in Kosovo public still exists. With more than 70 percent of population younger than 35, Kosovo’s youth is one of the main targets in the process of bringing war crimes trials closer to the general audience. With that said, HLC Kosovo’s internship program has hosted 36 students, for the period of three to six months. It helped Kosovo’s youth and students to get acquainted and understand the importance of war crimes and trials for ethnically and/or politically motivated crimes. In the period to come, working with youth will remain a permanent tool of the HLC Kosovo’s efforts in bringing justice closer to Kosovo citizens. The recent HLC Kosovo’s three-year program identified a shortage of available court documentation. Hence, the HLC Kosovo contributed to strengthen transparency of court hearings and Kosovo’s judiciary in general by collecting, compiling, archiving and making publicly available all non-confidential court documentation from war-crime trials. This praxis will continue.

Finally, when approaching media, professional and general interested public, HLC Kosovo will amend and innovate its existing practice of issuing press releases, publishing monthly and annual reports and organizing round table discussions about the most complexcases that the post-conflict Kosovo judiciary is dealing with.

Objective

Establishing Rule of Law and bringing justice to victims, informing Kosovo public about the ongoing trials for war crimes, enhance the performance of the judiciary, strengthen its independence from the executive branch of government, increase and improve the quality and scope of the trial documentation and literature on war crimes for the use of the interested public.

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