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From The Hague to the Balkans: A Victim-oriented Reparations Approach to Improved International Criminal Justice

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image of International Criminal Law Review

The international crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s have been the subject of both State responsibility claims and prosecutions establishing individual criminal responsibility. On 26 February 2007 the International Court of Justice handed down its judgment in the Genocide case while it is expected that in 2014 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia will conclude all appeals from prosecutions. While these initiatives contribute to the acknowledgement of the commission of international crimes they have not provided the victims with any financial reparations. Instead victims have had to make compensation claims under domestic law. The article examines how, in addition to the international initiatives at The Hague, a regionally focused victim oriented reparations approach can assist in attaining improved international criminal justice for international crimes committed during the Yugoslav wars. A victim oriented reparations approach would enhance victims’ rights through the provision of financial reparations, reflect improved international criminal justice and assist in the attainment long-term stability in the war-torn States of the former Yugoslavia.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer in International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia


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