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Balkan Legal News

The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period from 29 August to 2 September 2021. The Guernica Group will provide bi-weekly media updates with a focus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia . Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at for consideration.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – 29 August 2021

The Charter of Kulin Ban is the first known diplomatic document written in a domestic language and as such it deserves the attention of both linguists and historians, as well as all citizens of BiH. The Charter has multiple significance: for the history of the Bosnian statehood and for the history of Bosnian language. Regarding the first, it can be said that the Charter of Kulin Ban is the “birth certificate” of the Bosnian statehood.

Serbia – 31 August 2021

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev met last month in Macedonian capital of Skopje to sign a trilateral economic agreement at a regional business forum. The Agreement is called the Open Balkan initiative, and the idea of forming a common market for countries waiting for EU membership was previously known as Mini-Schengen Area.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1 September 2021

After an unsuccessful session of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Presidency member Selfik Dzaferovic expressed his frustration with Milldrag Dodik. Dzaferovic stressed that Dodik, apart from blocking the work of the Presidency, is also abusing this institution by refusing to exercise his constitutional powers. That is why he is looking for a reaction from the international community.

“Mr. Dodik will either have to change his policy and become constructive or he will have to leave the political scene. He must know that by endangering the state, he is also endangering the Dayton Agreement, and that means that entities are also endangered since they were created by Dayton,” said Dzaferovic.

Balkan news – 2 September 2021

The Eighth Regional Rule of Law Forum for East Europe will take place over the 3rd and 4th of September. This is an online event, focusing on judicial independence and impartiality, which will bring together presidents and judges of supreme and constitutional courts, ombudspersons, state agents at the ECHR, representatives of judicial centres, law schools, non-governmental organisations and legal experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

Kosovo – 2 September 2021

The Pre-trial judge, Nicolas Guillou at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, dismissed an attempt by former Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and two of his co-defendants, Kadri Veseli and Rexhep Selimi, to have the charges against them thrown out. Thaci claimed there had been violations of his right to a fair and impartial hearing within a reasonable time, his right to be presumed innocent and his right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Kosovo – 2 September 2021

Kosovo has begun to develop a national transitional justice strategy, intended to address the unresolved legacies of the 1998-99 war - but questions remain over whether the political will exists to avoid a ‘mono-ethnic’ initiative.

Kosovo – 2 September 2021

A witness at the war crimes retrial of former Kosovo Liberation Army unit commander Remzi Shala said that his alleged victim could have been killed because he was suspected of collaborating with Serbian forces.

Albania – 2 September 2021

Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama has unveiled his third cabinet in the last elections giving 12 of the 16 posts to women and acknowledging that too many people are in politics for their own personal interests.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2 September 2021

The Bosnian State Court announced that its appeals chamber has sentenced Srecko Acimovic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Zvornik Brigade’s Second Battalion, to seven years in prison for aiding and abetting the genocide of Bosniak men from Srebrenica in July 1995.


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