CIDS is proud to publish CIDS Report no. 1 2021, “Obeying Unlawful Orders: Continuity of Personnel Involved in Human Rights Violations and its Impact on Reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The purpose of the paper is to research the issue of personnel involved in human rights violations during the 1992-95 Bosnian War and its impact on reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina today. A large number of military and police personnel took part in human rights violations, thus constituting the central element of the perpetrator network. However, the role of the unarmed personnel participating in these violations has been insufficiently explored by academic research. The unarmed personnel in question include civil servants, politicians, and persons employed by private enterprises. A quarter of a century since the end of the Bosnian war, a significant number of these individuals continue to take part in public life and to work in public administration.

The aim of this report is to shed light on this issue, and to demonstrate that these individuals’ ability to evade accountability for their actions has serious implications for the processes of political reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We all need to remind ourselves about the fact that the integrity of civil servants, militaries and police is a prerequisite for states to work in the interest of their citizens. When power is abused, the citizens are dependent on that their servants are standing up against the forces that challenge the rule of law, and that they will not obey their superior’s illegal orders”.

You can find the report on the CIDS Publications page.