International Center for Transitional Justice Report: The War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina – From Hybrid to Domestic Court, by B. Ivanišević

This report provides an insider’s account of the workings of the War Crimes Chamber within the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It gives the best account available (see Ch. V section D) of the legal provisions underpinning the right of victims to participate, whether or not they testify, and to seek compensation within the criminal proceedings. It is important to note that this right pertains exclusively to compensation relating to property. (See our summary for the Criminal Procedure Code of BiH under Legal Instruments on this page). The author confirms earlier reports that judges in both the War Crimes Chamber and the domestic courts within the Federation of BiH routinely fail to exercise their powers under the Criminal Procedure Code directly to invite and evaluate claims, and to make awards. Injured parties are instead advised to initiate civil litigation. This however remains well beyond the reach of the majority of victims.

The report also explains well the relationship between the War Crimes Chamber and the local courts (see Ch. VII section C).