Criminal accountability for violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Kosovo

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Hasani, Avni
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This master’s thesis aims to elaborate the legal framework as well as judicial actions for prosecution of those responsible for commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Kosovo. The aim of this study is to conduct an indepth analyse of the existing international and domestic legislation and other existing measures for trying war crimes perpetrators in Kosovo. The issue of accountability for atrocities is a major problem that needs to be addressed in post-conflict and post-war societies. This thesis tries to argue that there has not been an adequate human rights response and criminal accountability to all alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, committed during the Kosovo conflict. Impunity for violations of the international humanitarian law can create an obstacle to achieving a lasting peace and can encourage further horrendous crimes. The creation of the ICTY in 1993 was a landmark moment in the history of international efforts to bring the conduct of war under a certain degree of rule of law and to hold those responsible for transgressing international humanitarian law. The ICTY and the domestic courts are tools for promoting reconciliation and restoring true peace. It is strongly believed that the prosecution of war crimes in Kosovo by both ad hoc tribunal and domestic courts is crucial in promoting justice and reconciliation and in addressing human rights and humanitarian law violations. This thesis explores that purely international tribunals, such as the ICTY, have a limited capacity to prosecute only the most egregious suspects and are not perceived as legitimate by the local population belonging to the conflict. At this stage of the justice system in Kosovo, if the prosecution is left to the domestic system that lacks both capacity (physical infrastructure and resources) and legitimacy, will not work to accomplish the objectives of post-conflict justice: combating impunity and reconciliation.
Second semester University: National University of Ireland, Galway
administration of justice, Kosovo, criminal justice, human rights, International Criminal Court, international criminal tribunals, former Yugoslavia