International Court of Justice to rule on Croatia vs Serbia genocide claims

27 January 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, Belgrade (Serbia)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will rule on 3 February in a case that saw wartime foes Croatia and Serbia accuse each other of committing genocide during the 1991-1995 war in Croatia [IJT-156].

The International Court of Justice (Wikipedia/Yeu Ninje)
Image caption: 
The International Court of Justice (Wikipedia/Yeu Ninje)

The ICJ, the United Nations’ highest judicial organ that settles disputes between states, has jurisdiction in cases of genocide as per the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. However, experts believe it is unlikely the Hague-based court will rule genocide was committed on either side during the 1991-1995 Croatia conflict, as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has never indicted anyone for genocide in Croatia.

The last time the ICJ ruled on a genocide case – in 2007, when Bosnia accused Serbia of complicity in genocide – the court relied heavily on ICTY findings to determine that the only instance of genocide during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia was in Srebrenica in 1995. Yet the ICJ ultimately ruled it could not be proved that the Serbian state had the intent to destroy the Srebrenica Muslims and Belgrade was not be held liable.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

article
07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

article
07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

article
07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

article
07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.