Monday, February 26, 2007

Walking the tightrope

Although dealing with different evidence, different "defendants" (individuals vs. state government) and different courts; the ICJ mixed verdict very much mirrors that of the ICTY's verdicts; which found that only Srebrenica constituted an act of genocide.

With regard to the Jelsic case dealing with atrocities committed in Brcko, the trial chamber found:
"With regard to the first option, the Trial Chamber was not satisfied that a global genocide, that is a genocide in the whole Brcko region, had been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt. It nevertheless underlined that this finding in no way negated that such a genocide might have taken place in this region, but only that it had not been established to the satisfaction of the court."

While the trial chamber at the Stakic chamber found that:
"Despite the scale of the atrocities, after a careful analysis of the facts and the state of mind of the actors, the Trial Chamber was unable to infer the necessary dolus specialis for genocide, this dolus specialis - or specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a group as such - being the core element of the crime. Thus, the Trial Chamber was not able to come to the conclusion, based on the evidence in this case, that Dr. Stakic or other actors had the necessary specific intent."

And of course, the Krajisnik verdict this past fall was a similar verdict; with the trial chamber confirming that that acts of genocide occured but that there was not the intent to commit genocide, hence his acquittal.

The findings of the ICTY with regards to the entire Bosnia region throughout the entire war, seems to be saying, that genocide occured, but that there was no specific intent for it to occur; or that genocide might of, or probably did occur, but it wasn't proven beyond a resonable doubt. I cannot comment on these verdicts from a legal perspective and I make no qualms about their soundness of their decisions but from a personal personal perspective these verdicts lead to many more questions than answers.

Meanwhile the blogging and internet news world is filled with some interesting comments on the ICJ's mixed verdict. Yakima Gulag gazett contains some interesting comments on the middle of the road verdict, which said that Serbia is not guilty of genocide; but is guilty of failing to prevent genocide.

Meanwhile, Jakob Finci, president of the Jewish community in Bosnia, told BIRN that:
"The verdict says genocide wasn't orchestrated from Serbia but committed by a number of individuals controlled by the government,”
"As such, the verdict has made the delicate situation in the region even more complicated, he went on.“It makes one wonder what exactly the ICJ tried to say in its final statement,” he continued. “On the one hand, it seems that the court wanted to acknowledge that genocide did take place while on the other, it apparently sought and found an option not to blame Serbia for it and pin it on individuals tried and convicted by ICTY,” he added.“The verdict has failed to resolve any of the controversial issue Bosnia and Herzegovina has encountered since 1996; on the contrary, it has made all our problems even more complex,” Finci concluded.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Bosnian Serb forces were under overall control of Serbia:

“[F]or the period material to this case (1992), the armed forces of the Republika Srpska were to be regarded as acting under the overall control of and on behalf of the FRY [the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)]. Hence, even after 19 May 1992 the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina between the Bosnian Serbs and the central authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be classified as an international armed conflict.” See also Tadic, (Appeals Chamber), July 15, 1999, para. 87.


"Earlier in the ruling, Higgins said the court found it established that Serbia "was making its considerable military and financial support available" to the Bosnian Serbs but that it had not known they had genocidal intent."

Does this make any sense to you? It doesn't make much sense to me.