Significant victories have been achieved on victims’ right to reparation. Unfortunately, that right is unevenly applied throughout the country.
18 months ago, Ana B. was the first victim to be granted compensation as part of a criminal proceeding. A significant precedent which paved the way for other survivors: since then, 4 more cases have entrenched this practice before the Court of BiH.
Unfortunately, lower courts have been slower to follow that example. Although TRIAL can boast one precedent (before the Doboj Court in September 2016), awareness is still sorely lacking.
“Victims should be able to uphold their right for compensations everywhere, regardless of where they seek justice” says Adrijana Hanusic Becirovic, Senior Legal Advisor at TRIAL. “It is crucial that lower courts in both BiH entities follow the precedents we have set, or there will be double measures and inequality of treatments.”
Strategic litigation and advocacy
To facilitate access to reparations for all victims, TRIAL is combining strategic litigation and advocacy activities. On the one hand, the NGO have initiated two cases before entity-level court (respectively the Federation of BiH and the Republika Srpska). On the other, it conducts a series of meetings with legal professionals to sensitize them to the issue.
This week, a roundtable was held in Doboj, featuring TRIAL expert Adrijana Hanusic Becirovic, Prosecutor Milanko Kajganic, Judge Izudin Berberovic and Head of the Witness Support Office Alma Taso Deljkovic.
Participants include judges, prosecutors of lower level courts, representatives of the OSCE mission in BiH and NGOs. Local media have also covered the event.
Judge Berberovic, who was participating to the roundtable, concluded: “It is necessary to raise awareness among judges and prosecutors on this aspect of victim’s rights“.
To understand why compensation in criminal proceedings are important, click here.