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Prosecuting War Crimes at Home: Lessons from the War Crimes Chamber in the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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The development of an international criminal system to provide justice for international crimes must be complemented by national processes of prosecution and adjudication. In order to guarantee international standards of justice it is necessary to support national efforts of accountability by creating infrastructure and capacity in those countries where the atrocities took place. The War Crimes Chambers of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and its accompanying Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor's Office, represent one of the most salient examples of these complementary efforts. In their six years of existence these institutions have accumulated a solid record of prosecutions, developed a considerable practice and established themselves solidly within the Bosnian judicial system and the international network of hybrid and national tribunals. This article considers these years of practice and the lessons that can be learnt for future national processes of prosecution of mass atrocity after conflict.

Affiliations: 1: University of East London, London, UK

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