AREA OF COMPETENCE
Work of the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office is governed by international legal acts and national legislation.
Determined by article 2 of the Act on the Organization and Competence of State Authorities in War Crimes Proceedings, the area of competence of this Prosecutor’s Office includes the following:
2. Grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1 January 1991, as specified in the Statute of the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia; and
3. Criminal offence under article 333 (accessory after the fact) of the Criminal Code, if committed in re the criminal offences under items (1) and (2) thereof.
The War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office is competent to press charges in first and second-instance proceedings before relevant courts, and to engage in other activities in compliance with the law.
Pursuant to article 2 (1.9) of the Act on the Seizure of Proceeds from Crime (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, no. 32/2013), the competence of this Prosecutor’s Office covers criminal offences against humanity and other assets protected by international treaties.
Further competence of this Office includes the prosecution of criminal offences recognized by Chapter XXXIV of the Criminal Law, namely those under articles 370 through 386 thereof, as well as grave breaches of of international criminal law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1 January 1991, as specified in the Statute of the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia.
Pursuant to the Act on Changes and Amendments to the Act on the Organization and Competence of State Authorities in War Crimes Proceedings (published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia no. 101/07 of 06 November 2007), the competence of the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office has been extended to the criminal offence of “accessory after the fact“ under article 333 of the Criminal Law, if the same has been committed in re the criminal offences listed in the previous paragraph hereof.
This Office is competent to prosecute perpetrators of criminal offences committed in the former SFRY territory regardless of the perpetrators’ or victims’ ethnic backgrounds.
The War Crimes Prosecutor's competence includes first instance proceedings, as well as those conducted upon submission of legal remedies. All state authorities are obligated to provide this Office with due assistance, particularly in relation to ongoing criminal proceedings or to the identification of criminal offences and tracing of their perpetrators. Thus, all state authorities are obliged to:
- Secure timely response of any of their members, i.e. employees, including heads of agencies/organizations, who may be requested to provide information or summoned for hearing in suspect or witness capacity; and
- Promptly deliver any written or other evidence in their possession that may facilitate the identification of war crimes perpetrators.