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HLC » Blog Archive » The right to reparations- Victims and witness counseling
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The right to reparations- Victims and witness counseling

Description

Ever since the conflict has ended, the HLC Kosovo has been engaged in a joint project with the HLC in Belgrade, aimed at providing counseling and legal support and representation to the victims and victim-witnesses from Kosovo who are seeking justice before the courts in Serbia. This involves identifying and locating the victim-witnesses and victims of war crimes, interviewing them, submitting criminal complaints and requests for reparations in their name before the Serbian courts, representing them in these trials and encouraging potential witnesses to go to Serbia and testify.

One of the key obstacles in this process has been the lack of willingness of the victims from Kosovo to go to Serbia and take part in these processes. Hence, the role of the HLC Kosovo in the project has been focused on identifying, locating, contacting and interviewing the victim-witnesses and victims, as well as encouraging them to file criminal complaints and requests for reparations through HLC in Belgrade, and to give their testimonies before the Serbian courts. The main role of the HLC Belgrade is to provide legal representation for the victims before the Serbian courts.

The partnership between HLC Kosovo and HLC Belgrade on these activities will continue in the years to come. The HLC Kosovo will, however, seek to build its capacities in this domain, in particular through engagement of new staff or consultant lawyers, so that in the future it also becomes able to provide legal representation for the victims.

Objective:

To facilitate accountability for war crimes and help secure justice for victims through counseling of victim-witnesses and their families in order to encourage them to testify before the Serbian courts, to file criminal complaints against the perpetrators and to seek just reparations.

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