Phon van den Biesen

article
22 May 2006 by HEIKELINA VERRIJN STUART

From February 28 to May 9, the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague listened to oral arguments from the parties in the genocide case that Bosnia-Herzegovina brought in March 1993 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), which became Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and then simply Serbia after the May 21 yes vote on the referendum on Montenegro's independence. The ICJ is expected to issue a decision by year end. If convicted, Serbia could have to pay several billion dollars to its neighbor. This ruling represents more than just the first time that a State has been prosecuted for genocide. The Court in this case must render a decision on essentially two main points: does the ICJ have jurisdiction in this matter; and did the FRY commit genocide in Bosnia?