Bosnia & Herzegovina: Constitutional Court Eliminates Fines for Survivors of Wartime Sexual Violence and Torture

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s (Bosnia’s) highest court, the Constitutional Court, has said that survivors of rape, torture and other war crimes committed during the country’s 1990’s civil war will no longer have to pay steep fines if their claims for compensation are rejected. The high court upheld the appeal of a rape survivor who was charged nearly $2000 in attorneys’ fees and court costs after a failed lawsuit in the autonomous Serb region of Bosnia.

As reported by Reuters, local non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) that work with victims of Bosnia’s civil war have called the ruling “historic.” One NGO representative stated, “This (ruling) is very significant for all former camp detainees/torture victims who have filed reparation lawsuits and which are still under way, . . . and should represent a turning point for Bosnia-Herzegovina institutions towards the war torture victims." 

 

 

Compiled from: Sito-Sucic, Daria, Rights groups praise top Bosnia court for scrapping fines on war victims; Most of those fined are jobless, in poor health since the war, and unable to pay the fees, Reuters (April 3, 2018).