Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Settings

The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights will be hosting a conference on Transitional Justice and the rule of law in post-conflict settings: Exchange of experiences and lessons learned between international and local experts - see programme here.

Picture: Essex Transitional Justice Network

Transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo

This conference analyzes the achievements and challenges facing transitional justice processes which have been taking place in the countries emerging from the former Yugoslavia, with a specific focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Despite the considerable lapse of time and their long period under international administration, transitional justice processes concerning accountability and reparations for victims and property restitution have moved slowly in both countries. For these ongoing societal transformation processes to meaningfully further the consolidation of the rule of law, respect for human rights, and inter-ethnic reconciliation, continued legal reforms and a pluralistic public discourse, which embrace a strong focus on the rights of victims of war crimes, are necessary.

Difficulties in consolidating the rule of law

Both Bosnia and Kosovo continue to face serious difficulties in consolidating the rule of law and ensuring full respect for human rights. The situation in these countries is reflected in considerable detail in the relevant EU Commission progress reports, prepared as part of the process of integration of Bosnia’s and Kosovo into the EU. Some important issues which still remain to be adequately addressed include significant backlog in cases pending before the courts, the difficulties in enforcing court decisions, and political influence on the judiciary. The international community, especially the EU and other key stakeholders, needs to remain engaged and support both countries in addressing these remaining Challenges.

The impact on human rights

While both Bosnia and Kosovo are legally committed to international and European human rights standards, the implementation of these standards in practice encounters many difficulties. There are several areas which need immediate attention, including effectively guaranteeing property rights, addressing the issues of return and reintegration of displaced persons, and protection of the rights of persons belonging to minorities.


Programme: Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Societies: Critical Reflections on and Lessons Learned from the Western Balkans

  • 09:00-09:20 Registration with coffee and tea
  • 09:30-09:40 Opening remarks: Inga Bostad, Director of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights

Panel 1 Transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia with a focus on Bosnia- Herzegovina and Kosovo

Moderator: Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

  • 09:40-09:55 ‘Transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia: challenges and prospects’: Gentian Zyberi, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo
  • 9:55-10:10 ‘Transitional justice, reconciliation, human rights, and international administration (UNMIK, ICO, EULEX, in Kosovo’ Remzije Istrefi, Faculty of Law, University of Prishtina
  • 10:10-10:25 ‘Transitional justice in the country of injustice Bosnia twenty years later’ Zarije Seizović, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo
  • 10:25 – 10:45 Questions and comments
  • 10:45-11.00 Coffee Break

Panel 2 Rule of law, democratic institutions, and EU integration

Moderator: Gentian Zyberi

  • 11:00-11:15 ‘A plethora of human rights issues in post-war property restitution in Kosovo’ Gjylbehare Bella Murati, European School of Law and Governance
  • 11:15-11:30 ‘Transition and building a new national identities’, Jasna Jozelić, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo
  • 11:30-11:45 ‘Challenges concerning the rule of law in Kosovo and the EU integration process’ Qerim Qerimi, Faculty of Law, University of Prishtina
  • 11:45 – 12:00 Questions and comments
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch

Panel 3 Education and remembrance

Moderator: Jasna Jozelić

  • 13:00-13:15 ‘Cultural memory in post-conflict transition’, Gorana Ognjenović, philosopher and guest researcher, NCHR, UiO
  • 13:15-13:30 ‘We raise generations of haters’, Goran Šimić, International University of Sarajevo
  • 13:30-13:45 ‘Teaching values in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Dženana Husremović, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo
  • 13:45 – 14:15 Questions and comments
  • 14:15-14:30 Coffee Break

Way forward and a potential programme on Western Balkans

  • 14.30-15.00 Joint presentation by Gentian Zyberi and Jasna Jozelić
  • 15:00 – 15:20 Questions and comments
  • 15:20-15:30 Closing remarks: Jasna Jozelić, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo and Gentian Zyberi, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo

Click here for programme with a short bio of the speakers/moderators

We are serving some refreshments, so please sign up:

Published Oct. 13, 2016 10:19 AM - Last modified Dec. 8, 2016 2:49 PM