Law as an Instrument and as a Mirror of Official Memory Politics: The Mechanism for Rehabilitating Victims of Communism in Serbia

In: Review of Central and East European Law
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This article examines the mechanism for judicial rehabilitation in Serbia as a tool and as a reflection of state-sanctioned memory politics of the Second World War and Yugoslav state socialism. The mechanism of rehabilitation seeks to accommodate victims of unfair trials by revising them or declaratively and collectively rehabilitating victims of political persecution. In the case of Serbia, the legislation enables rehabilitation of persons responsible for collaboration and crimes during the Second World War as long as it can be argued that political and ideological grounds were also involved in their judicial or extrajudicial persecution. Acknowledging that individuals were unjustly persecuted in the postwar period, the article is primarily concerned with prominent military and political actors of the Second World War. Discussing rehabilitation in the context of the relation of history, memory and law, the article represents a perspective of history and memory studies rather than a purely legal-dogmatic analysis.

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