Kosovo War Crime Victims: Challenges to Legal Reparations

Kosovo civilians fleeing their home, Kosovo Polje, June 1999 Kosovo civilians fleeing their home, Kosovo Polje, June 1999 © Northfoto via Shutterstock

This research paper by Catherine Gregoire reveals the actual extent of conflict for Kosovo Civilians.

The Kosovo war has left an enduring impact on civilian survivors. Current and ongoing war crime indictments are beginning to reveal the true extent of the war’s brutality and superfluous mistreatment of civilians.What does this mean for surviving victims now? Reparations are a basic concept of justice recognised by both domestic and international law. They are crucial in providing remedies to civilian victims of armed conflict and are rewarded by those legal bodies which investigate and prosecute war crimes. Yet, civilian victims of the Kosovo war are experiencing challenges to receiving reparations and are making their experiences heard. This research paper outlines the domestic legal rights of civilian victims of war crimes committed during the Kosovo war and their entitlement to reparations. It identifies the challenges of certain legal bodies to provide reparations, as well as of the civilian applicants aiming to receive reparations. Based on these findings, six recommendations aimed for national governments, local organisations, administrative bodies, and national courts are put forward.


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