The creation of the Tribunal in 1993 was the result of a unique convergence of legal, political, and diplomatic circumstances. At the political-legal level, it was the manifestation of the convergence of two distinct and related trends: the reinterpretation by the Security Council of that which constitutes a threat to international peace and security, to include intra- as well as interstate conflict and violations of basic human rights; and the development of international humanitarian law and international criminal law. This was combined with a unique set of circumstances at the political-diplomatic level, stemming from systemic changes in international relations following the end of the cold war, which both required and allowed for a high level of activity on the part of the Security Council.
This chapter sets the decision to establish the Tribunal in the context of those changes at the political-legal and political-diplomatic levels. There are three parts to the equation: the UN Security Council's powers and responsibilities in the area of international peace and security; the development of international criminal justice; and the response of the international community, through the auspices of various international organizations, to the war that broke out in Yugoslavia in 1991, particularly the widespread and systematic violations of international humanitarian law committed as an integral part of the strategy of ethnic cleansing.
The establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was the result of a political decision to invoke the legal power and authority of the Security Council to enforce another set of international laws—those regulating the use of force—by creating a judicial