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Beyond trial justice in the former Yugoslavia



The arrest of Ratko Mladić on 26 May 2011 and his almost immediate deportation to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has underscored the significance of international legal institutions to the enactment of transitional justice. In this commentary we will seek to illustrate some alternative discourses and practices of transitional justice emerging across the former Yugoslavia. In particular we analyse a 6-year initiative led by civil society groups to establish a truth commission for the former Yugoslavia, entitled the ‘Regional Commission for Establishing the Facts about War Crimes and Other Gross Violations of Human Rights Committed on the Territory of the former Yugoslavia’ (or RECOM). In so doing, we illuminate a number of areas of geographical concern in the study of transitional justice: from the lingering significance of state sovereignty to the imagined geographies of regional cooperation.