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ICTY and MICT president Judge Theodor Meron speaks to IJT (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
08 July 2015

IJT 185 is a free special issue to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. The murder of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys is the only atrocity in post-WWII Europe that was officially labeled a genocide by two international courts, and it has helped shape international laws on genocide. For this issue, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) president Theodor Meron answers questions about handing over the court's remaining functions to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), where he also serves as president.

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ICTY and MICT president Judge Theodor Meron speaks to IJT (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
08 July 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg and Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, IJT spoke to the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Judge Theodor Meron answered questions about the genocide and efforts to close the ICTY and hand over its remaining functions to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), where he also serves as president. 

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Photo exhibit used in ICTY Srebrenica cases of a single shoe left at Branjevo Military Farm (Photo: Flickr/ICTY)
07 July 2015 by Heikelina Verrijn Stuart and IJT

For IJT’s special issue acknowledging the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, we are publishing an edited version of a November 2005 article [IJT-29] by international law expert Heikelina Verrijn Stuart. It illustrates how the ICTY was shaping the law of genocide a decade ago. 

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05 May 2010 by Heikelina Verrijn

International judges and prosecutors claim to do their utmost to ensure that the practice of international criminal law satisfies fundamental principles. In practice, however, those principles often take second place to notions of human and humanitarian rights. 

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03 May 2004 by -

When the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Radislav Krstic to 35 years' imprisonment on 19 April for complicity in genocide, its appeal court reduced the sentence against the former general of the Bosnian Serb army by 11 years. But the real impact of the judgement was clearly elsewhere. The judges above all confirmed that genocide had indeed occurred in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica, where in July 1995 between 7000 and 8000 Bosnian Muslims were killed by the Drina corps, commanded by General Krstic.

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01 June 2001 by -

General-Major of the VRS Drina Corps - Srebrenica case

Radislav Krstic was the first person to be convicted of genocide by the ICTY. He was sentenced to 46 years' imprisonment on 2 August 2001 but the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia reduced his sentence to 35 years on 19 April 2004.
© Réseau Intermedia.

Identity

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07 June 2004 by -

The governmental commission charged with investigating the Srebrenica massacre has «uncovered 31 previously undiscovered mass graves, based on information provided by institutions in Republika Srpska (RS),» the Bosnian Serb government announced on 4 June, reports AFP. The commission, which was set up in December 2003 in response to international pressure, is expected to publish its final conclusions around mid-June.

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21 June 2004 by -

The report published by the commission in charge of investigating the massacres committed in Srebrenica in July 1995 has put an end to nearly nine years of denial of responsibility by the Republika Srpska (RS). On 11 June, the RS government, a Serbian entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, finally admitted that «several thousand Bosnian (Muslims) were liquidated in a manner representing a serious violation of international humanitarian law» in Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb forces, and that «the perpetrators covered up their crimes,» reports the news agency Agence France Presse.

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07 November 2005 by HEIKELINA VERRIJN STUART

"By planned and well-thought-out combat operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa." Such were the instructions of President Radovan Karadzic in March 1995. The "purifying" intention of the directive, later known by the code name of Krivaja 95, is in no doubt. Yet it leaves open the issue of the intention to commit genocide. Legal experts at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have been scrutinizing the gap between genocide and ethnic cleansing in an attempt to legally establish the existence of genocide in Srebrenica.

Radislav Krstic