Conclusions from the round-table discussion titled
LEGAL PATH – SIDEWAYS?
Restitution of damage through courts due to the killing of a close person in Croatia in the period between 1991 and 1995 – Problems and Perspectives
The discussion held in Zagreb on 8 December 2009 with the topic of restitution of damage for all war victims gathered representatives from the institutions of the executive authority of the Republic of Croatia, judiciary, international institutions and organisations for human rights. It was stressed that numerous family members of war crimes victims did not receive neither moral, nor material satisfaction. Their suffering remains unrecognised, the perpetrators of crimes were not criminally prosecuted and the majority of the victims’ family members lost lawsuits for restitution of damage filed against the Republic of Croatia.
A total of 50 indemnity procedures conducted following the death, disappearance or wounding were analysed. Some of the analysed court cases have not yet been completed with a legally valid court verdict. Family members in the aforementioned 50 cases of violent deaths stated in their damage claims that the causes of deaths were: injuries caused by firearms, blows inflicted by hands or legs, and stabbing wounds made by knives, or a person disappeared and was declared missing while the exact cause of death remained unknown. According to the documentation available, we are aware that criminal charges of murders were filed in at least nine cases. In the majority of cases, those are non-investigated crimes at the pre-investigation stage where procedures are conducted against unknown perpetrators. The analysed procedures were presented in more detail in the texts prepared for the round table.
In the lawsuits for restitution of damage, the RoC attempted to resolve the issue of responsibility for the damage caused during the Homeland War by way of application of three laws, but many people not only did not receive restitution, but they were obliged to pay huge expenses of the lawsuits. Unlike the sufferers who exercised the right to receive a support by way of application of other laws, family members of killed civilians have not received any form of damage restitution since the commission of the crime.
It was concluded that no-one was satisfied with the open and still unresolved process of compensations which has, so far, lacked political will, thus it is necessary to do the following:
Agnese Andreucci, OSCE
Ksenija Bauer, Ombudsman’s Office
Ira Bedrač, Ombudsman’s Office
Tino Bego, Documenta
Jovica Brkić, "Pravda" Association, Bjelovar
Lina Budak, a lawyer
Vanja Crnković, Zagreb County Court
Monika Čavlović, OSCE
Dinka Ćorkalo Biruški, Psychology Department, Philosophical Faculty
Davorka Ćurko Nasić, Zagreb Municipal Court, Civil Department
Klara Dokmanović, ICTY
Jelena Đokić Jović, Documenta
Snežana Đokić Marković, EU Delegation to the RoC
Ratko Gajica, Croatian Parliament
Wilhemijn van Haaften, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands
Enrique Horcajada, OSCE
Tanja Hučera, Zagreb Municipal Court, Civil Department
David Hudson, EU Delegation to the RoC
Veselinka Kastratović, Centre for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights Osijek
Sanja Krovinović, Zagreb Municipal Court, Civil Department
Mladen Lončar, Ministry of the Family, Defenders and Intergenerational Solidarity
Andreja Maretić Vuković, Embassy of the Great Britain
Ana Marović, Split Municipal Court
Federica Meijer Dusman, State's Attorney's Office of the Republic of Croatia
Blaženka Navara, Glina Municipal Court
Sanja Nola, Ministry of Justice
Meliha Okić, a lawyer
Zdenka Pantić, International Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims
Ivana Požar, Zagreb Municipal Court, Civil Department
Vesna Pusić, Croatian Parliament
Biljana Pusić, Civic Committee for Human Rights
Zoran Pusić, Civic Committee for Human Rights
Suzana Radaković, Zagreb Municipal Court, Civil Department
Marko Sjekavica, Civic Committee for Human Rights
Gordana Sobol, Croatian Parliament
Mladen Stojanović, Centre for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights Osijek
Snježana Šagud, Zagreb Municipal Court, Civil Department
Vesna Teršelič, Documenta
Lucia Tomić, Ministry of Justice
Carmen Topalušić, Zagreb Municipal Court, Civil Department
Slobodan Uzelac, Government of the Republic of Croatia
Ana Vlahović Stanić, Ministry of Justice
Tatijana Vučetić, Ministry of Justice
Vesna Vučetić, a lawyer
Tanja Vukov, Documenta
Duško Zorić, "Pravda" Association, Bjelovar
 Bego Tino, Vukov Tanja, Different Forms of Damage Restitution due to the Killing of a Close Person in Croatia; Maja Kovačević Bošković, Jelena Đokić Jović, Marko Sjekavica, Implications of the Unfounded Application of the Amnesty Act to Lawsuits for the Restitution of Non-pecuniary Damage.
 The Obligations Act (Official Gazette of the SFRY 29/78, 39/85, 57/89 and the Official Gazette 53/91, 73/91, 3/94, 107/95, 7/96, 91/96, 112/99, 88/01), The Act on Responsibility for Damage Caused as a Result of Terrorist Acts and Public Demonstrations (Official Gazette 117/03), The Act on Responsibility of the Republic of Croatia for Damage Caused by the Members of the Croatian Military and Police Forces during the Homeland War (Official Gazette 117/03).
 The Act on the Protection of Military and Civilian War Invalids, Official Gazette 33/92, 77/92, 27/93, 58/93, 2/94, 76/94, 108/85, 108/96, 82/01 and 103/03, The Act on the Rights of Croatian Defenders from the Homeland War and their Family Members, Official Gazette 174/04.
 A/RES/60/147 Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/remedy.htm.
 which the Croatian Parliament adopted at its session held on 2 July 2008 and which shall come into force on the day of accession of the Republic of Croatia into the European Union and is not relevant for the families of war crimes victims.