International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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The Attainability of the Evidentiary Standard for Genocidal Intent in Gaza

Since 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been perceived as a viable instrument for stopping ongoing genocides after the UN political organs have failed to take effective actions to that effect. Thus, under Article IX of the Genocide Convention (1948), South Africa took Israel to the ICJ alleging genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza after Israel’s defiance of the resolutions issued by the Security Council and General Assembly. On 26 January, the ICJ issued an order on provisional measures against Israel. Many expected this order and even described it as a foregone conclusion. By contrast, an affirmative finding from the Court regarding the commission of genocide in Gaza has been described by many as certainly unlikely. The main reason put forward by proponents of that opinion is the very high threshold that the ICJ requires for proving ‘genocidal intent’, as it requires proof that the intent is ‘the only reasonable inference’ drawn from the evidence. Despite the recent report of the UN…

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UN Secretary-General Refuses to Reappoint Turkish Judge on the MICT

Yesterday the UN Secretary-General reappointed 23 of the 24 Judges of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. The one judge not reappointed was Judge Aydin Sefa Akay of Turkey, who is one of hundreds of Turkish judges purged by the Erdogan regime, which accused him of being a member of a terrorist organization. This…

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First and Second Degree Genocide? Considering a Case for Bifurcation of the Law

At its inception, the crime of genocide, which broadly concerns criminal conduct targeted at a group, was generally seen as somehow more culpable or aggravated than international crimes targeted at an individual. Critical opposition to that view exists (See Milanović on the Karadžić and Mladić Trial Chamber judgments). Contemporary application, however, of the law continues to…

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Public Opinion Survey in Serbia Sheds Light on ICTY Legacy

In anticipation of the closing of the ICTY, there has been plenty of discussion, including at EJIL: Talk! (see here), on the court’s impact in the former Yugoslavia, particularly relating to the public’s acceptance of ICTY findings and reconciliation. I’d like to contribute to this discussion with findings from the most recent public opinion survey conducted in…

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The Possibility of Disclosing Findings After a Detainee Dies in International Criminal Proceedings

International criminal courts and tribunals have no jurisdiction over the dead. Such courts make factual findings that have reputational implications for those who have died, but the dead are not parties to a case. They cannot be bound by the power of a court. A trial chamber or appeals chamber that attempts to exercise jurisdiction over the dead…

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