Report on National War Crimes Processing Strategy officially presented

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) presented a spot report on the implementation of the and its 2018 draft revisions on 6 May 2019 at the Cantonal Court in Bihac.

The report, Observations on the National War Crimes Processing Strategy and its 2018 Draft Revisions, including its relation to the Rules of the Road Category A cases, reviews the progress achieved by the BiH judiciary since the introduction of the National War Crimes Processing Strategy in 2008 and identifies challenges and obstacles to its implementation that the revised strategy aims to address.

The OSCE Mission to BiH urged the BiH Council of Ministers to adopt the revisions to the Strategy without further delay.

“The proposed revised National War Crimes Processing Strategy enhances the criminal and political framework for the work of relevant institutions,” said Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Bruce G. Berton.

Burton explained that the revised strategy brings at least three major advantages. Firstly, it allows for a greater flow of legally less complex cases from state to entity and Brcko District levels, enabling in turn the BiH Prosecutor’s Office to focus its resources on the most complex war crimes cases – which is its primary duty. Secondly, the revised Strategy provides for a more prominent role of the Supervisory Body in charge of implementing the Strategy and for grounds for holding judicial authorities accountable for acting in contravention of the aim and purpose of the Strategy. Finally, it provides for strengthening the normative framework for property claims in litigations.

“Those are the reasons why the Mission invites the Council of Ministers to adopt this revised Strategy without further delay,” said Berton.

The revised National War Crimes Processing Strategy addresses the challenges that remain in ensuring that pending cases are processed efficiently. It will help secure justice for war crimes victims and will support the country as it moves forward towards reconciliation and lasting peace.

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