ICJ: Serbia Did Not Commit Genocide; But Should Have Prevented It

by Julian Ku

The ICJ has released its judgment in the Case Concerning the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro). The Court affirmed it had jurisdiction and found that although Serbia could not be held responsible for genocide, Serbia had violated its obligations under the Genocide Convention to prevent genocide as well as to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. On the other hand, the Court found that no financial compensation was appropriate here.

On first glance, this sounds like a reasonable decision. Serbia was going to be held responsible for something, but it dodged the bullet of getting tagged with commiting genocide or having to pay reparations. Lots of countries probably violated their obligations to “prevent genocide” so Serbia has go to feel pretty good about the outcome. But I have to read it more carefully and right now, I must rush off and battle the snowy highways here in Long Island. So I will have to leave off any further commentary to a later time and/or our faithful commenters.


One Response

  1. I think the most interesting part of the Judgment is where the Court says that, in theory, a state can commit genocide and that the Genocide Convention covers that “state crime” (para. 166 I think it is; I wrote about it here (sorry for referring to my own weblog all the time)).

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