Croatian National Ethics Tribunal In The Making

dr. Zvonimir Separovic

dr. Zvonimir Separovic

In this era we live in, it has become more and more unsettling in a democracy to watch politicians in government or power turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to the plights of their constituents (citizens) to protect and improve the interests of the people, the nation. Cries of helplessness ring at every corner, in every crevice of the developed as well as of the undeveloped nations. The ethics in activities of those in power that affect the citizens’ and the nation’s very lives and livelihood have become to resemble a kind of a “fly-by-night” phenomenon and, yet, they are crucial to the preservation or destruction, if unchecked, of humanity and prosperity.

It goes without saying that the government and society can no longer promote and enforce ethical behaviour solely through the utilisation of ethical codes of conduct or through the promulgation of a plethora of legislation. Something new is required – a measure that will at least serve as a deterrent for unethical behaviour which imposes irreparable or profound damage to national interests.

A group of citizens of Croatia has decided to establish the Croatian National Ethics Tribunal, which will not have behind it the force of the police or the State court system. It will, though, have the force of ethical arguments and public “finger pointing” at those who have inflicted damage upon Croatian interests and who have worked against Croatian independence and have betrayed Croatia in relation to its fight against Serb aggression.

As dr. Zvonimir Separovic, recently said at the launch of his book “The Croatian Claim” (Hrvatska Tužba) – pertaining to Croatian lawsuit against Serbia for genocide that was recently heard at the ICJ in The Hague – “Pantovcak (The Office of the President of Croatia) is a larger Serbian branch than the Embassy of Serbia in Zagreb, itself!” This statement needs no explanation, no corroboration – for it is the political truth that is bringing multitudes to their knees.

And so we are at the dawn of a new era in Croatia. A new era that will see a public Tribunal (Croatian National Ethics Tribunal) pave the way of standing firmly and loudly against the betrayers of Croatian national interests.

Proposal for the establishment of the Croatian National Ethics Tribunal


Croatia is in a deep political, moral and general crisis. The group of politicians in government does not manage the country with Croatian national interests at the helm. Betrayal of national interests is at work. It is time to establish a national ethical court that would bring judgments against individuals for betrayal of the country (treason).

We can find examples in Ancient Rome where individual citizens could raise a national claim (Actio popularis) against those who had acted contrary to public interests. In the last century we come across the Russell, and later the Sartre’s international tribunal that brought judgments against the U.S.A. for the war in Vietnam and later against Israel for the discrimination against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. At the instigation of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela formed Commissions for Truth and Reconciliation at which informal judgments were delivered in South Africa – this was a form of lustration and a small number of individuals did consequently end up in official courts.

Different to the examples above, the Croatian case would mount a national ethics tribunal that would judge upon the responsibility for public actions when it’s assessed that the same constitute a betrayal of national interests.

National interest is defined as the aim a State has in the areas of economy, military or culture, but it can apply to wider areas as every interest that is of vital importance for the survival and prosperity of the people and the State.

Members of the Tribunal would be prominent individuals of moral integrity, professionalism and reputation, prominent personalities from public life. Judgments would be based on known ethical principles. The judgment is only moral in nature. Judgments would only be made in cases of severe breaches of ethical principles in public activities.


The Preparatory meeting with view to founding the Tribunal was held on 24 April 2014 and initiated by the Croatian Victimology Society. Those present included Prof. dr. Andrija Hebrang, Zeljko Olujic – prominent lawyer, dr. Nikola Debelic, prof.dr. Danko Milosevic, dr.Srecko Sladoljev, prof. Nevenka Nekic. Ante Beljo, Miljenko Romic – academic artist, Zdravko Vladanovic – lawyer, Rozalija Bartolic – the Association of Homeland Widows, Negzana Pavicic from Skabrnje, Aleksandar Soltysik, and the meeting was chaired by dr. Zvonimir Separovic – the President of the Croatian Victimology Society. Apologies with support for the Tribunal were recorded from prof. dr. Zeljko Horvatic, Marko Franovic – Sydney, Australija, Ante Glibota – Paris, France , prof. dr. Josip Faricic – Zadar, prof. dr. Hrvoje Mazija, Zvonimir Hodak – lawyer, prof. dr. Branimir Luksic – Split, Vlado Iljkic – Headquarters for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar, Croatian Army general Tomo Medved, academic Slobodan Novak, prof. Josip Jurcevic – historian and politician, Mate Kovacevic – publicist.

The meeting accepted and delivered the following conclusions:

1. The establishment of the Croatian National Ethics Tribunal (HNES) is justified, current and socially beneficial;
2. The Tribunal in its activities is independent of the State and Political parties, objective, legitimate and it does not deliver executive decisions;
3. Research for the Tribunal’s use is undertaken by committees or by individuals appointed by the Tribunal;
4. The Tribunal proceedings are open to the public, Tribunal’s decisions are published to the public;
5. The person who is the subject of an investigation or a claim will be notified about the sitting of the Tribunal at which the hearing will take place, and they have the right of presence at the hearing;
6. The Tribunal’s Founding Assembly to be held by the end of May 2014 and other potential members of the Tribunal shall be invited to it;
7. The Organising Committee – Zvonimir Separović, Zeljko Olujic and Zdravko Vladanovic will prepare the draft of the Program Declaration and other essential documents for the Founding Assembly. ( Source of details regarding the founding process of the Tribunal: Dr. Zvonimir Separovic)
Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Thank you Ina, please keep us up to date on the Croatian National Ethics Tribunal.

  2. I would like to dedicate this Award to Ina for her excellence in Journalism, for her lucid coverage of current developments in Croatia. Ina is Elite and Unique Journalist, just like a piece of Art.

    here is the link:

  3. This sounds like something that every country should have. It will be interesting to see what kind of, and how much, influence/power it develops.

    • A “bit” of “parenting”, Sarah. I agree every country should have some and even though the world does have the UN that has and does project standards of “behaviour” that could well apply universally and individually to every country the practice in individual countries has slowly crawled away to the point when such measures as Ethics Tribunals are needed…Ancient Empires recognised the importance of the public…I too am eager to see the measure flourish and have effect…the public personalities involved in establishing the Tribunal in Croatia are strong.

  4. Ina, I don’t know if you have access to a very popular cable series called “House of Thrones.” Parts of it are filmed in Dubrovnik. Did you know that ? One of the most beautiful cities in the world! Have a lovely weekend!

    • Yes Anne, am quite the fan of historical drama too

      Yes I have cable, Anne, a must for historical drama pieces as the free-to-air TV doesn’t show them. Game of Thrones was also filmed in Klis, near Split, Croatia.Honeyed towns along Croatia’s Adriatic coast, with their historic walls and a medieval urban plans, were often used as the backdrop to the scenes of warring clans, as seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land … so much beauty and history there 🙂

  5. Do not forget the ancient Greek practice of OSTRACISM

  6. It is a fantastic idea, I like it, but if they ever cross the Croatian borders, and starts to critique (VIP’s) foreigners, it is going to be killed by CIA and Brits, the guilty ones, who have done more crimes in the world then the rest of the world together

  7. A very enlightened post about how Croatian National Ethics Tribunal works and which are its more relevant topics nowadays.

    Best wishes to you Inavukic,

    Aquileana 🙂

  8. This is going to be an important accomplishment. I hope the UN will help and that this endeavor will be a success. Hugs,Barbara

  9. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel.

  10. Hi Ina, Can you please send me this in Croatian??

    Regards Robyn

  11. This is definitely needed in Croatia and I can only hope that it will flourish.

  12. will i or wont i says:

    Bunch of unethical people cogitating about being ethical …. The paradox never ceases to amaze me …

    • Don’t know to whom you are referring, will i wont i, but those involved in forming the Ethics Tribunal, have no history of being unethical

      • will i or wont i says:

        Open your eyes darling …. Who are these people to dictate from the side lines, what is ethical and what is not …. Have they formed a think tank and worked with the government, regardless if its orientation… Its right winged politics, dictating what they think is “ethical” …. Where us the rule of law??? How will they change the landscape if our judicial system … These guys are just hunting vjestice and babaroge …. Its nothing new, its actually sad .. Pack and hoard mentality …

      • I disagree – the ultimate judges of their work will be the people at large – i.e. whether they see merit in “judgments” or not – regardless of political orientation or not

      • will i or wont i says:

        Darling, the people have been judging for the past 25 years via the elections …. We still have a kleptocracy … Who are these peoples??? Who are they to tell me what is ethical … Look at the
        list … For example, look at …DELETED AS PERSONAL INSULT TO INDIVIDUAL

      • I have looked at the list, will I or wont I – and it’s all thumbs up as far as I am concerned

      • will i or wont i says:

        I never insulted anybody. It seems you cannot question the robustness of certain things. This group will fail. Who are they to tell me what is ethical and what is not. Let them do something more constructive, like propose how our judicial system will become more “ethical”

      • Actually your original comment had insulted a person, will i or wont I – but I deleted to moderate it … you named a person and asked among other things “what’s so special about this Joe blow?” from the initiators of the Ethics Tribunal – to me that is offensive and given the names are there you can do your own research about them…but your suggestion they should do something more constructive is a constructive suggestion only they as citizens can do so much. I totally agree with you the courts in Croatia are a long way from functioning well

      • will i or wont i says:

        Ina – you blur the lines … That list has a lot of people that are there for personal gain… I can name more, who may not be all that reputable… why censor me??? I am sure of my ethics…. If they are prepared to put there names out there, why can’t I comment? They have made themselves public or do they have something to hide. Stop being naive, I think you may be brighter than that …

      • Sorry I do not see any blurring in my lines. For starters you do not provide your name or identity that can be verified here and so if you attack a person by name that person should have the right to an opportunity to defend himself/herself which includes knowing who is saying what. Yes these people are prepared and have put their names out there and are public persons – well some are not nor have they been in public positions even if their names are known – and therefore anyone can research about them and make up their own mind about them without a comment by someone who calls themselves “will i wont i” or whatever else. I am not naive, quite the opposite actually.

      • will i or wont i says:

        Sorry Ina but your censorship reminds me of a totalitarian regime … There is no difference between the right winged politics you support and the leftist politics you despise … At the end of the day, both sides of the political fence in Croatia does not stimulate wealth creation, only the propagation of self interest … This group for ethics is far far far away from being impartial…

      • You are a malicious commenter will i or wont i and a troll! There is nothing totalitarian about protecting peoples. rights to dignity and from being defamed by lies from people they cannot respond to because they do not know their identity. If you like to promote your say about people start your own blog and expose yourself to defamation laws. It is only civil to respect the law and steer away from calling people names without any factual background as you try to do. It is not censorship it is comment policy here that you refer to but perhaps you need to go back to school to learn the difference.

      • will i or wont i says:

        As for who “Will I or Won’t I ” is …. Be sure that he pays his taxes and his contributions in Croatia, on time. He is not blocked by any third person or body… He adds value, he employs people. He reduces and mitigates his investors risks, in a very very high risk country for business. He also assists and does not discriminate on reform regardless of whichever government may be in power. He is a lobbyist for a free market economy. He has investments totaling over Euro 1 bn, in Southeastern Europe.

      • And he does not comment under his real name! Which tells me he/she has something to hide. Enough said!

      • will i or wont i says:

        Haha … Ina , who is attacking who ? …. Troll??? I am in a position to speak concrete truths not fluffy illusions. I know a lot of people on that list, DELETED … Yes this is your blog and you can censor all you want, but its just a reflection of the non objectivity and skewed manner you write. Challenging logic, does not make one malicious … So don’t throw stones from within your glass house …

      • No skewed writing here, will I wont I – and when you corroborate your “challenging logic” with facts that can be verified or you provide a source that is objective then its a different matter – I do not judge people by what someone says about them but by their actions.


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