The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: An Exercise in Law, Politics, and Diplomacy

By Rachel Kerr | Go to book overview

1 Introduction

On 25 May 1993, the UN Security Council took the extraordinary and unprecedented step of deciding to establish the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as a mechanism for the restoration and maintenance of international peace and security. Resolution 827 was an extremely significant innovation in the use of mandatory enforcement powers by the Security Council, and the manifestation of an explicit link between peace and justice, politics and law.

Just over eight years later, on 28 June 2001, Slobodan Milošević, the former president of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was transferred to the custody of the Tribunal on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. His trial commenced on 12 February 2002. At his initial appearance before the Tribunal, on 3 July 2001, Milošević refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court: 'I declare this a false tribunal and the indictment a false indictment. […] This trial's aim is to produce false justification for war crimes committed by NATO in Yugoslavia.' 1 This was not new. Milošević merely repeated the substance of his statements over the previous eight years that the Tribunal was a political not a judicial institution, and he was not alone in holding this view. 2 For example, in November 2000, the Russian representative on the Security Council accused the Tribunal of being a political institution, of being less than diligent in its examination of NATO, of improperly issuing sealed indictments, of being anti-Serb, and of creating anarchy in the international legal system by making new legal interpretations. 3 Others alleged, at different times, that the Tribunal was a 'politicized' institution. 4

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The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: An Exercise in Law, Politics, and Diplomacy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: International Peace and Security, International Criminal Justice, and the Yugoslav War 12
  • 3: Establishing a Court 41
  • 4: Jurisdiction 60
  • 5: Procedure 92
  • 6: Cooperation and Judicial Assistance 115
  • 7: 'First Catch Your Criminal' 147
  • 8: An Apolitical or a Political Institution? the Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion 175
  • 9: Conclusion 208
  • Bibliography 220
  • Index 237
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