In January 2017 the EU-financed project entitled “Support to Monitoring of National War Crimes Trials” commenced and will be implemented by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The project aims to further enhance Serbia’s rule of law system in the area of accountability for war crimes.
During the first phase of the project which was implemented between 2013-2016 and also financed by the EU, the OSCE Mission to Serbia monitored national war crimes trials in Serbia and supported the Serbian judiciary to improve its track record. The project also sought to build capacities of three Serbian civil society organisations for more effective and independent trial monitoring.
Phase two will continue this support. In addition it will establish a system of training and education in the field of international criminal law and international humanitarian law for Serbian judges, prosecutors and other state bodies dealing with war crimes cases, in line with the adopted National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes and its dedicated Action Plan, and the Action Plan for the implementation of Chapter 23 in Serbia’s negotiations on accession to the EU (dealing with the judiciary and fundamental rights).
A special focus of Phase II will be to promote an improved understanding of the principle of accountability for war crimes amongst young people and future decision-makers, as one of the fundamental conditions for reconciliation and stability in the region.
The Serbian Ministry of Justice will be a key partner for project implementation. The value of the second phase of the EU financed project is 500,000 EUR.