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Legal Protection of the Missing and Their Relatives: The Example of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2017


More than a decade after the end of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the issue of missing persons remains a major obstacle to reconciliation. With a focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina, this article looks at the phenomenon of missing persons and reviews the scope of the legal protection available to the victims and their family members, as well as some of the institutional efforts to shed light on their fate. The article describes the progressive development of the jurisprudence of the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina, a court modelled on the procedures of the European Court of Human Rights, which held that Bosnian authorities who are withholding from family members information about missing persons are violating their right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment and their right to respect for private and family life. It further illustrates the positive effects on politicians and lawmakers which can emanate from transitional justice.

2006 Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law

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