Etone D (2016) The Prospects and Potential Advantages and Disadvantages of a Regional Truth-Seeking Mechanism in the West Balkan Region. International Journal of Conflict & Reconciliation, 2 (2), pp. 1-43. http://conflictjournal.squarespace.com/articles4/
Transitional justice is a society’s response to a legacy of large scale past human rights violations that seeks to ensure accountability, provide recognition for victims, and achieve reconciliation. Transitional justice mechanisms attempted in the West Balkan region at various times have included trials in local courts, specialised chambers, international tribunal, lustration and reparations. No successful truth commission has been established in the region. The end of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)’s mandate in the region opens up possibilities for a truth commission. International criminal justice has its limits and is only one component of a holistic approach which should be employed as a targeted strategy of transitional justice. While truth commissions have exercised jurisdiction over abuses within their national territory, no truth commission has ever exercised its jurisdiction across several independent countries within a region. This brings into question the feasibility of a regional truth commission in the West Balkans which, although innovative and historically unprecedented, is greatly challenging given the current political circumstances in the region. This article examines the prospects and potential advantages of such a regional truth-seeking mechanism and evaluates how developments in the ICTY would affect the prospects for such a regional truthseeking mechanism.
Transitional Justice Mechanisms; Regional Truth Commission; West Balkans; ICTY
International Journal of Conflict & Reconciliation: Volume 2, Issue 2