Debate “Transitional Justice in Kosovo Today” at the Mirëdita, dobar dan festival
A debate titled “Transitional Justice in Kosovo Today” is based on the publication “Democratizing Transitional Justice: Towards a Deliberative Infrastructure for Dealing with the Past in Kosovo” by Gëzim Visoka and Besart Lumi, published by Integra, PAX and New Social Initiative.
Twenty-one years after the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo, Kosovo society still has to deal with its violent past. After the conflict, many initiatives have been launched towards achieving transitional justice; however, these were mostly fragmented and side-by-side initiatives. As such, they have mostly been unsuccessful in moving Kosovo society away from its violent past towards a peaceful future. Currently, the indictments raised by the Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office bring back memories and spark unrest, while the establishment of a future Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which would have the potential to bring a comprehensive view of the conflict, is still uncertain. The fragmented nature of the previous efforts in the area of transitional justice, as well as disappointments that followed, contribute to massive distrust within society, both among different communities and between citizens and government.
This research shows that a top-down and externally driven approaches to transitional justice have not been useful, and recommends an integrated and deliberative infrastructure which would ensure legitimacy and efficiency of efforts aimed at dealing with the past in Kosovo.