Justice Report in HRW Report on Bosnia

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On July 10, Human Rights Watch published their report on war crimes prosecution in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Still Waiting: Bringing Justice for War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Cantonal and District Courts.”

BIRN – Justice Report is quoted several times in the report and praised for its work in covering war crimes trails in the country.

The report details numerous practical and political problems impeding these trials on a local level. The obstacles include the prosecutors’ offices lack sufficient staff and the lack of specialisation. Cooperation between prosecutors and police and between police across entity lines continues to be problematic.

Witness protection measures are rarely, if ever, employed, and witness support services are generally not available. Prosecutors often fail to make use of the available sources of evidence and do not take steps necessary to secure the suspects’ attendance at trial. Defence attorneys generally lack access to training in relevant areas of law and are often inadequately, or not at all, compensated for their work. Some cantonal and district courts have yet to try a single case. The report is available at: http://hrw.org/reports/2008/bosnia0708/