The debate began in May of 2006, during the First Regional Forum on the mechanisms for the establishment of facts...
The debate began in May of 2006, during the First Regional Forum on the mechanisms for the establishment of facts about the past, organized jointly by the HLC, the RDC and Documenta. By the end of June of 2011, a total of 127 consultations had been held, as well as one international and seven regional forums on transitional justice. Taking part in the consultations were a total of 6,187 human rights activists and representatives of various NGOs, youth organizations, associations of victims’ families and former prison camp detainees, and war veterans’ associations, as well as many artists, teachers, representatives of religious congregations and communities and other civil society groups and associations from all the successor-states of the former Yugoslavia. The consultation process was conducted in the form of local, national
and regional debates
(public consultations) within smaller groups, as well as during discussions held in fora,
involving between 200 and 300 participants each, with representatives of state institutions and international organizations also taking part, while expert support for the entire process was being provided by the ICTY.
The consultation process was envisaged as a public platform for the voices of victims and civic groups to be heard, describing the burden placed on them by the legacies of the past; as a way to actively advocate for, and, indeed, gather support of the general public and the authorities for the establishment of RECOM – a Regional Commission to establish the facts about the war crimes and other gross human rights violations perpetrated within the territory of the former Yugoslavia
; and as an open line of communication about the creation of the RECOM Statute Proposal.
The Consultative Process unfolded in three phases: at first, the discussion revolved around the victims’ needs and expectations with respect to the heavy burden placed upon them by the legacies of the past, and the extra-judicial mechanisms needed to establish the facts about the recent war crimes. Following that, the participants, drawing on past experiences from other post-conflict and post-totalitarian societies and taking into account the specific nature of the wars fought within the territory of the former Yugoslavia, voiced their opinions and submitted their proposals and suggestions concerning the model for a regional commission to establish the facts about the war crimes. In the third phase, which began in May of 2010, the participants began discussing the RECOM Statute Proposal, created by the Coalition’s group of experts on the basis of all the proposals, suggestions and opinions put forward by the participants. Then came the consultations – firstly with civic groups that had taken part in the shaping of the RECOM model, and then with the region’s lawyers. There were some heated discussions, and fears were voiced that certain opinions were simply irreconcilable, but through compromise, the joint three-year long work made it possible for the participants to agree on a joint document, and, on March 26th
, 2011, the RECOM Coalition Assembly adopted the RECOM Statute Proposal.
Regional Debate Event Review