An independent and effective judiciary and strengthening the rule of law
The round table on strenghtening the judiciary and independent and effective proceedings, was focused on the prosecution of war crimes, in particular on regional cooperation in the prosecution of war crimes. The round table presented the ways in which regional cooperation for war crimes works or does not work, taking into account different perspectives. Regional cooperation is very important because in our countries we have been expecting too much from the judiciary for years, especially given the context of the European reintegration process.
In the conclusions we propose further strengthening of regional cooperation, as well as intensification of work on ongoing proceedings in the Republic of Croatia. What we constantly recommend is to intensify and increase the efficiency of work, as well as exchange in regional co-operation, as it would be very important to see more proceedings in the presence of the accused. We would not like to say that proceedings in absentia are automatically worthless, because the situation related to trial in absentia is twofold, and different from case to case. It is important that witnesses who are old or ill, have a chance to testify about the facts of the criminal offense in the court context. As a human rights organization, we certainly give preference to proceedings in the presence, and this is also the case for the families of the victims, because it is very important for them to be satisfied when the sentence is pronounced, becomes final and is followed by the execution of the sentence. When the proceeding is completed with a sentence in absentia, this kind of satisfaction is missing. Of course, we are always talking about satisfaction that is partial because these are delayed proceedings, and therefore delayed justice.