International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Tag Archives: ICTY

Why not the Winners too?

History is written by the victors. The winners decide the rules, and the punishments to dole out to those who break those rules. The Nuremburg and Tokyo trials after WWII proved that. The defeated Germany and her allies were put on trial by the victorious world powers, but these winners had the express design to punish the losers in this war. That is how it has always been; the winners punish the defeated for their crime, but what about the crimes of the victors? The crimes of the victors are often ignored in favor of publicizing the crimes of the losers, but shouldn’t all crimes in a conflict be persecuted? Shouldn’t the nations that preach that impunity cannot exist, be held responsible for the crimes that they committed? It is this in mind that the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) and the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) were created. They were made in the image of the Nuremburg and Tokyo Trials, but with a new purpose of prosecuting both the winning and losing sides in the conflict. These tribunals are trying to make sure that no matter what side you are on, that committing war crime will never go unpunished.

Visualizing the Impact of International Tribunals

Take a look at this visually impressive report on the impact of international tribunals, authored by Daniel McLaughlin and published by the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice).

tribunals map

It graphically presents data on the atrocities, tribunals and cases, which gives you a sense of both their relative scope and impact. The author explains that

“despite the tribunals’ grasp on the popular imagination, they are the subject of significant misconceptions and confusion. Much of the media coverage dedicated to their work remains superficial, at best, and largely muddle over key distinctions between various tribunals, past and present.”

The report also provides a comparative cost analysis with other major events, like the Olympics or  US Presidential election. Do the results surprise you?

intl courts costs

How does this data aid in our evaluation of international tribunals? Based on this and assigned readings in class, how should we evaluate the legitimacy and effectiveness of international tribunals?

Lukić appeals rejected

In July 2009, Milan Lukić was found guilty of crimes against humanity by the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia). His sentence was life imprisonment. His cousin Sredoje Lukić was also convicted by the ICTY for taking part in many of Milan Lukić’s crimes. Sredoje Lukić was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

According to the ICTY judgment summary, Milan Lukić was charged with “nine counts of violations of the laws or customs of war punishable under Article 3 of the Statute and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949: murder (counts 3, 7, 10, 15 and 19) and cruel treatment (counts 5, 12, 17 and 21). Milan Lukić is also charged with 12 counts of crimes against humanity punishable under Article 5 of the Statute: persecution (count 1), extermination, (counts 8 and 13), murder (counts 2, 6, 9, 14 and 18) and inhumane acts (counts 4, 11, 16 and 20)”. Sredoje Lukic was charged with “five counts of violations of the laws or customs of war pursuant to Article 3 of the Statute: murder (counts 10 and 15) and cruel treatment (counts 12, 17 and 21). Sredoje Lukić is also charged with eight counts of crimes against humanity pursuant to Article 5 of the Statute: persecution (count 1), extermination (counts 8 and 13), murder (counts 9 and 14) and inhumane acts (counts 11, 16 and 20)”. The ICTY judgment summary is available here.

Notably, M. Lukić (and his unit) were responsible for the Pionirska Street fire and the Bikavac fire. Both of these incidents involved Bosniak civilians being detained in a house, and then having that house set on fire. When they were convicted, Judge Robinson said “In the all too long, sad and wretched history of man’s inhumanity to man, the Pionirska street and Bikavac fires must rank high. At the close of the twentieth century, a century marked by war and bloodshed on a colossal scale, these horrific events stand out for the viciousness of the incendiary attack, for the obvious premeditation and calculation that defined it, for the sheer callousness and brutality of herding, trapping and locking the victims in the two houses, thereby rendering them helpless in the ensuing inferno, and for the degree of pain and suffering inflicted on the victims as they were burnt alive.”

Yesterday, both M. Lukić and S. Lukić had their appeals (which were against the convictions for the war crimes) rejected. Milan Lukić’s life sentence was kept, and Sredoje Lukić’s sentence was shortened by three years (from 30 years to 27).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20591187

http://www.icty.org/x/cases/milan_lukic_sredoje_lukic/tjug/en/090720_j.pdf

ICTY Acquits Former Kosovo Prime Minister

This week, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia acquitted Ramush Haradinaj, former prime minister of Kosovo, and former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). He had been charged with torturing and murdering ethnic Serbs during the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict. He was charged with 6 violations of the law and customs of war.

Haradinaj was indicted in 2005, tried in 2007, and found not guilty. The Appeals Chamber quashed the acquittal and ordered a retrial, due to intimidation of witnesses. After the retrial, the Court concluded that Haradinaj was not guilty. In addition to Haradinaj, two alleged co-conspirators were also acquitted. All three men were released immediately this week. When he arrived in Kosovo, Haradinaj told reporters, “I’m happy that international justice has confirmed that our road to freedom was clean and just.” Haradinaj plans to return to politics in Kosovo.

spokesman for the Serbian government said that the verdict was a blow to international justice and would present a serious obstacle in the process of reconciliation. The Russian Foreign Ministrydescribed the trial as “scandalous” and accused the ICTY of engaging in “selective justice.”Amnesty International asked, ”Is anybody ever going to be brought to justice?”

In response to the acquittal, Haradiaj’s lawyer demanded a public apology from the prosecutor for serving “the political interests of the extreme nationalists in Serbia, by depriving Kosovo of its most effective political leader during this crucial period of transition to independence.” 

Serbian nationalists burned the EU flag this week and demanded justice for the war crimes committed during the 1990s. 

Prosecutors in international courts have a serious responsibility to only pursue charges that they believe they can prove. Although bringing a war criminal to justice can help the victims, when a war criminal is acquitted, tensions are exacerbated and the situation becomes worse than it would have been if the international court had never gotten involved in the first place.

Reopening old wounds?

The UK newspaper, The Guardian, reported this weekend on the re-trial of Ramush Haradinaj, former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and former Prime Minister of Kosovo, for war crimes. There is a significant split between the support and opposition for the retrial, after having been initially acquitted by The Hauge in 2008. Sir Geoffrey Nice, having been involved in the trial of Slobodan Milošević as a deputy prosecutor among his other work with the ICTY, commented that “Two or three teams of lawyers in the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY refused to indict Haradinaj because there was insufficient evidence.” He also suggested that the current retrial could be politically driven suggesting that the prosecution was pursued “Arguably for political reasons because Serbia was complaining about an insufficient number of Kosovars being pursued.” Carla Del Ponte, the former chief prosecutor of the ICTY, however, is hopeful that the trial will result in a conviction. 

Politically driven moves in the ICTY prosecutions have been a key criticism of the tribunal for a long time. However, Aleksandar Vulin, the head of the Serbian government office for Kosovo, brings up an interesting point, stating “An acquittal of Haradinaj by the ICTY would be a message that it is allowed to kill Serbs in Kosovo. How can we talk about the fate of missing persons, justice for those killed and return of those exiled, if a man who talk part in all this is set free?” It is once again a question of peace versus justice and striking the fine balance between the two to reach an outcome that is amicable to all the sides and does right by all the injustices committed during these atrocities.

“Think Again: International Courts”

I recently came across an extremely pessimistic article about international justice (the caption reads: “It’s time to abandon the false hope of international justice”). It’s from a few years ago, but I felt like it fit in nicely with what we have been discussing through the course thus far. It specifically hits on the ICTY and ICTR. The author claims that neither Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians, nor Rwandans through the tribunals aided in the reconciliation process. Less than 36% of Rwandans thought it did promote reconciliation in 2002. She also points out that the justice process is long and expensive. Milosevic’s trial took years, prolonging the hatred in the hearts of many Serbs, and the ICTR took “10 years to complete the same number of trials that Nuremberg conducted in less than a year.”

The author also lacks faith in the truth-telling process, citing Spain and Mozambique as having been successfully reconciled by taking a “don’t look back” approach to resolving their issues. She then goes on to refute the claim that “Giving Amnesty to War Criminals Encourages Impunity.” If we look at South Africa and Mozambique, she says, we will find that while both implemented amnesties, the rule of law actually improved because the leadership was focused less on prosecuting and more on rebuilding. Politics may also have a greater effect on the rule of law than justice, she suggests. Kagame’s authoritarianism in Rwanda undermined the rule of law even though his government was prosecuting many convicted of war crimes.

Lastly, she claims that the world does not need the ICC. “We can predict that the ICC will be no more effective than the international courts for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in improving the lives of war-zone residents who are its primary stakeholders. That is, not very effective at all.”

She lacks solid empirical evidence in some areas and some of her fact-finding seems inadequate. (I am never a fan of researchers quoting some people they met on the ground and then extrapolating their answers as if they were representative of the entire population.) However, I feel like it’s a good measure to test what we’ve learned so far. If you support international justice, it may be worth going through her arguments and seeing if what we have read so far allows you to refute any, if not all, of her claims.

The aftermath of the ICTY’s Gotovina Trial: Due process and Historical truth

A recent post to Justice in Conflict (Here) looks at the legal and political consequences of the recent reversal by the Appeals Chamber in the ICTY. The reversal, considered one of the “most comprehensive reversals of the Tribunal’s 19-year history” ordered the immediate release of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač.

The Appeals Chamber’s summary accepts the two main arguments of the Gotovina and Markač with regards to Operation Storm:

“first that the shelling of four Serb-held towns at the outset of the offensive had not been unlawful, and second, that absent unlawful shelling, the Trial Chamber’s finding of a ‘joint criminal enterprise’ (JCE) to permanently remove the Serb population of the region could not stand in regard to the defendants.”

By finding Operation Storm within the confines of international law, the response and debate surrounding the appeal has been quick and intense. The Serbian Prime Minister was fast to respond that the ICTY is a function of “pre-determined political tasks”. The Croatian President conversely interpreted the judgement as evidence that the “Croatian army wasn’t involved in any criminal activities.” Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač were welcomed by hundreds of thousands of people, as heroes.

But the implications of this decision are still unclear. By acquitting Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač of Operation storm, and ultimately relieving the Croats of responsibility in the eyes of the ICTY, what will this mean for future judgements of international crimes? If Operation Storm, which resulted in the flight of a quarter-million Serbs, can be considered lawful, what else can weave its way through the politics of the international legal system?

ICTY Acquittal of Croatian Generals

Two Croat generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac, previously convicted of a joint criminal enterprise for conspiracy to commit war crimes, specifically ethnic cleansing of Serbs in the Krajina region, were acquitted today on appeal by the ICTY.

This ruling was met with two opposite reactions by Serbs and by Croats.  Croats, viewing these generals as heroes of a war of liberation, rejoiced.  The generals are being flown back by a government jet and will appear at a public event in downtown Zagreb when they arrive.  Serbs, on the other hand, condemn this judgment as further evidence of their belief of the ICTY as a kangaroo court, bereft of all credibility, whose “main aim was to vilify and convict Serbs.” Serbs maintain there is no logic to the convictions by the ICTY; Serbia’s president Tomislav Nikolic said the ‘verdict was “political” and would “open old wounds.”’ Selective justice is condemned as worse than injustice.  Considering the disproportionate number of Serbs who have been convicted, the Serbian people may be right to wonder if there is some sort of victor’s justice at play. 

The ICTY has not ruled that there were no crimes committed by the generals; however, the acquittal was based on the fact that there was no joint conspiracy to commit war crimes. Croatia, set to join the EU in July 2013, is under international pressure to bring war criminals to justice.  As such, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic has said that they will fulfill their obligation to prosecute such crimes–whether or not this includes Gotovina and Markac is the question.  The great popularity in Croatia of Gotovina and Markac suggests that prosecuting them locally would have negative political consequences.

The acquittal of these generals has driven a further wedge between Croats and Serbs, further exacerbated ethnic tensions, and has created further polarization in opinions of what constitutes justice.  It also brings into question the prosecution of the ICTY and whether or not the conviction would have stuck if the generals had been tried for something else. Ideally, justice and reconciliation should complement each other; however, in this case, justice appears to be an impediment to a maximalist view of reconciliation.

Can (Well-Meaning) Individuals Impede Peace and Justice?

As we saw in the ICC documentary shown in class as well as our various reading assignments related to the court, former chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo certainly (even if inadvertently) had a polarizing effect on the international community’s response to ICC actions in pursuit of justice. The fact that Moreno-Ocampo so significantly colored nations’ perceptions of the ICC brings up a bigger question: To what extent can an individual influence the attainment of justice?

Making this question more pressing is the news of Carla Del Ponte’s involvement with the UN’s Independent International Commission on Inquiry, currently charged with investigating alleged human rights violations in Syria. Del Ponte, the “feisty” (to say the least) former chief prosecutor of the ICTY and ICTR has taken up the cause of ensuring that justice is served to those responsible for the Syrian atrocities. Keeping in mind the fact that her behavior is credited with the decision to split the ICTY/ICTR chief prosecutor’s responsibility between the two courts, I wonder what impact her stubborn disposition (which she claims to be quite proud of) and abrasive means of interacting with state leaders will have on the situation unfolding in Syria.

While the answer to my aforementioned question may seem obvious—one person does have the potential to jeopardize justice (this is, of course, a debatable claim though)—it is complicated by the potential tension between peace and justice. If Del Ponte takes a hard line advocating for justice for Assad (and, in light of recent news, maybe even rebel leaders as well) in the form of criminal trial proceedings, will that impede an end to the conflict? Furthermore, when it comes to polarizing—albeit well-meaning—individuals such as Moreno-Ocampo and Del Ponte, how do we reconcile their personal strategies (as prominent leaders in the field of transitional justice) for seeking justice with the broader strategies for achieving peace and justice on the macro-level?

Regional Legacy Conferences of the ICTY

Yesterday, the ICTY held its first of three Regional Legacy Conferences in Sarajevo. Tomorrow a conference will be held in Zagreb, and on November 22nd the final one will be held in Belgrade.   These conferences are a part of the outreach program of the ICTY, which perhaps realizes its physical and psychological distance from the people they are serving.   

 These conferences recognize a fundamental problem towards the process of reconciliation is a lack of knowledge among the community about what the ICTY discovered and accomplished.   This is due to many things, including lack of access to internet, unavailability of the trial transcripts in local languages, as well as general unavailability of these records for the public use.  Notably, this conference includes people from all areas: tribunal officials, national judiciary officials, NGOs, politicians, victims, journalists, academics, and even artists. 

The concept paper for the conferences acknowledges the weaknesses of the ICTY and perhaps trials in general: “In spite of the many achievements of the ICTY, its legacy remains underused in most of the processes of transitional justice in the region – in truth-seeking and truth-telling, in the search for the forcibly disappeared, in creation of the culture of memory and respect for the victims, in seeking just reparations for them, and in the reform of institutions. Apart from the national war crimes courts, it is only a small number of NGOs and a handful of individuals from the region, that regularly and systematically utilise the ICTY legacy in their activities focused on transitional justice.”

 These conferences introduce an element of restorative justice where retributive justice had primarily dominated.  Truth telling and dissemination of knowledge, while once seen as a secondary inferior option to trials, has now become an essential component of achieving justice and reconciliation.  I do wonder though, if the audience of these conferences is still a little narrow.  Additionally, as time goes by, the potency of truth telling may become weaker.   Therefore, at this point, I am not sure how effective these conferences–especially as a relatively last- minute idea still strongly concerned with the legacy of the trials themselves–will be at proliferating reconciliation through truth.   

Possible Presidential Debate Hot Topic: “Rewards for Justice” at the ICC?

As we head into our course unit on the International Criminal Court—and approach Monday’s foreign policy-focused presidential debate—it is interesting to examine the institution’s current standing with the United States, perhaps the most notable nonsignatory of the Rome Statute. According to a piece of news referenced in a recent post on Justice in Conflict (a blog maintained by a current PhD student in International Relations at the London School of Economics), the US appears to be inching towards a closer relationship with the ICC. After expanding the reach of its Rewards for Justice program (which offers significant monetary compensation to those who provide information leading to the arrest and/or prosecution of suspected terrorists) to cover those individuals indicted by the ICTY and ICTR, the US may take its involvement in the realm of international justice one step further by including ICC indictees on its list of those notorious enough to warrant coverage by Rewards for Justice.

This (potential) policy decision by the United States comes at a time of domestic political flux, considering the contentiousness of the upcoming presidential election. While the topics sure to dominate Monday’s debate will be all things Afghanistan and Libya, a better gauge of each candidate’s foreign policy outlook may very well be where they stand on the US’s role in facilitating international justice. As Justice in Conflict’s Mark Kersten points out, the relationship between the United States, though improving, has been rocky (to say the least) from the start; in today’s increasingly globalized world, though, the US cannot afford (in my opinion) to formally (at least on paper) disengage from transitional justice efforts. How each candidate would aim to further improve (or completely dismantle) US relations with the ICC—and US involvement in international justice efforts in any arena—could be more telling of the core of their foreign policy views than their ability to spew out death toll statistics.

Reactions to Karadzic’s Defense

As we all know, Radovan Karadzic began his defense today at the ICTY.  Facing charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, he—in what I see as a mixture of desperation, delusion, and denial—stated that he should be rewarded for his efforts in doing everything possible to avoid the war and reduce human suffering.  In the public gallery, survivors of the war cried out that he was lying.

Al-Jazeera had a feature today of Bosnian citizens on the streets of Sarajevo and Banja Luka reacting to Karadzic’s defense.  I found the breadth of reactions interesting; they ranged from confidence that he would be held responsible to fear that he would not live to his conviction (probably resulting from the disappointing conclusion of Milosevic’s trial) and the belief that no sentence, however large, could adequately compensate for the pain and suffering of the victims. However, one comment stood out to me in particular.  A lawyer from Banja Luka said, “I’m not following that case.  This process is a political thing.  I’m not that well informed.”  An important part of justice is truth and widespread knowledge of both past and present events, and I find it troubling that this man claims that he is not following “that case,” dismissing it as “political.”   Justice is a communal process, and reconciliation can happen at different levels, but it will be a long and difficult road to full reconciliation if some citizens don’t make the effort to become informed.  Additionally, I wonder what the survivors present at the trial today would have to say in response to the statement that the trial is merely a “political thing?”

International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia Update

It has been reported in Croatian Times and Gulf Times articles that Goran Hadzic, a former rebel leader, will be put on trial this week for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war in Croatia in the early 1990s. He is the final perpetrator to be charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Like we spoke in class the ICTY has been highly successful in many of its tasks, from bringing justice to the victims, to establishing the facts and directing accountability. However, one of its main criticisms was the Tribunal’s inability to put all of the perpetrators on trial. There is hope that now, with Hadzic’s capture and subsequent trial, the victims of his crimes can gain some closure and retribution and the Tribunal can bring some more justice for the crimes committed.

 

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=537402&version=1&template_id=39&parent_id=21

http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/General_News/2012-10-15/30267/Goran_Hadzic_to_stand_trial_for_war_crimes_in_eastern_Croatia

 

The Big Fish

  1. Do the applications of “individualizing guilt” and targeting the “big fish” allow for (or even encourage) the occurrence of a scapegoat system?  Are there mechanisms in place to prevent this?  Particularly with political vs. military leaders, or higher level military leaders not directly involved in combat, it seems plausible that leaders who did not order, plan, or participate in H.R. violations could be falsely accused to fill a space, or even sacrificed by their party for some objective (i.e., hypothetically, a Croatian General no longer involved with the state is offered—since it’s unlikely victims would have seen him give orders—instead of the true perpetrator, who may still be useful in state affairs).  If so, does this matter?  In reference to the alternative of individualizing guilt, Osiel said, “then victims and the public at large would no longer be content to vent their rage on a small handful of now powerless individuals.”  If the big fish were the wrong fish, two of the three claimed roles of transitional justice would still be met and Osiel’s statement could support that the state and individual healing process & expanded dialogue should take precedence over accountability & countering denial.  And punishing essentially an effigy wouldn’t stand in the way of deterrence as long as society remained unaware. Looking specifically at this possibility, is “false justice” an acceptable compromise (regardless of courts’ knowledge or ignorance of falsity) as long as victims and society believe justice was served and move towards healing/reconciliation?

28-year jail term for Vojislav Seselj–ICTY

Having voluntarily surrendered in 2003 Vojislav Seselj is charged with murder, torture, sexual assault, forced transportation and destruction of property. Today it was announced that prosecutors were seeking a 28 year jail term for the 57 year old accused. Seselj has already been jailed at the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal for nine years.

It was Vojislav Seselj that sparked a debate as to the allowance of defendants to ‘grandstand’ within the court. There have been defendants who have gone so far they even have dared to walk out of the court. Seselj often times harangued judges while proceedings were going on and has sung and even given short speeches.

Many assume that the ICC judges have been so lenient on the matters of social decorum in their courtrooms because they want the proceeding to move along at a speedy rate and don’t want to risk halting ongoing proceedings. This is a valid concern as a criticism of the ICC had been that they hadn’t actually given a verdict for many years. It’s understandable for judges to be concerned about this.

This topic has also sparked a Civil Law vs. Common Law debate within court critics.

The picture is a woman passing by posters showing Vojislav Seselj, the leader of the ultra-nationalist SRS-Serbian Radical Party, reading: “Serbia doesn’t want the EU – Serbia wants Seselj”

 

 

Carla’s List

Carla’s List

This is a documentary movie trailer released 6 years ago, featuring the ICTY prosecutor Carla Del Ponte seeking Justice at former Yugoslavia by trying to bring war criminals to the Hague. As we learned from the readings during this course, she is a former chief prosecutor of both the ICTY and ICTR, continuously showed a strong stance towards impunity especially to both Victor and Loser state officials. This movie is about Del Ponte struggling to negotiate with Croatian government and the supporting States like the United States which refused to take custody of War criminals. At that time, Rahim Ademi and Ante Gotovina were indicted by the ICTY but were protected by the Croatian state.  

Even though it was 2 years ago that I watched this movie, I still remember how the International tribunals are affected by the world politics and how the progress of capturing those criminals are depended on the individual prosecutor’s efforts. 

Unfortunately I could not find this video online but it would be worth to watch in order to have a better understandings of the relationship between the court and the International Community. 

Ratko Mladic before the ICTY

The indictment against Ratko Mladic for genocide in Srebrenica scheduled to start May 14 is said to be identical to the one against Radovan Karadzic.  The biggest difference between these two cases is the conduct of accused. Mladic’s courtroom behavior was said to be “erratic, even bordering the bizarre”. During his status conference this pass Thursday he stated “You swear I’ll have a fair trial, but I doubt that…You are a NATO court and you put me and my people on trial in the name of NATO…You don’t have the right to do that, because NATO was attacking my people…You are biased…I should not be here, but those who destroyed Yugoslavia”. During his conference he also showed the court a picture of his daughter who committed suicide in 1994. This story was interesting and it got me thinking if these criminals before the ICC can claim insanity?

http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/mladic-court-%E2%80%93-generally-bizarre

Srebrenica, Genocide Denial, and Mladic Trial

Srebrenica Genocide Memorial

Here is a post on the issue I mentioned in class today regarding denial of the Srebrenica genocide.

“The cold-blooded murder of 7,000-8,000 Muslim men following the fall of the United Nations “safe area” in July 1995 is probably the most documented war crime in history — but there are still those who insist it never happened.”

Despite the extensive documentation providing the massacre occurred, the ICTY trials of both Karadzic and Mladic will contribute to the factual record of their criminal responsibility for Srebrenica. Trials do help fulfill an essential truth-telling function for victims – even if knowledge does not come from acknowledgment from the perpetrators.

Michael Dobbs explores various issues and news on the Mladic trial on his blog through Foreign Policy magazine online.

Do No Harm

A scholar of post-genocidal studies once told me of a conference she attended entitled “Do No Harm”. The message of the conference centered around the idea that as foreigners investigating or completing scholarly work on a post-conflict setting, the lasting effect of our work, in the end,  should improve the conditions of a post-conflict setting and the last thing they should do is deteriorate conditions in a post-conflict setting. We as, students, teachers, and authors sometimes have tendency, in order for our work to gain notoriety, explore controversial topics and often exploit one wrong doing or shortcoming by institutions of transitional justice and then offer no suggestion to our criticism. For me, Victor Peskin’s work is reflective of this short coming.

Peskin is not entirely wrong in his criticism of the ICTY and ICTR’s shortcoming to adequately prosecute both sides of the conflict. In Rwanda revenge killings by Tutsi’s certainly did take place, but they also certainly did not constitute genocide. If one wishes to view what Genocide in Rwanda looked like, you do not need to go further than viewing the preserved corpses of tutsi infants with machete marks across their skulls located at the Murambi memorial. What Peskin’s article insinuates is Double Genocide, a view that Hutus and Tutsis were equally responsible for the crimes committed in 1994, this view, while patently untrue, serves only to worsen the current state of relative peace of Rwanda and heighten ethnic divide in the country. Peskin’s work brings up important points of discussion but he does so in a manner that is more detrimental than beneficial to Rwanda.

Before submitting his work for publication Peskin should have asked himself one question, Who am I writing for? …For Victor Peskin?, or for Rwanda?

Mladic Capture Reaps Benefits

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/world/europe/29briefs-Serbia.html?ref=internationalcriminaltribunalfortheformeryugoslavia

In October 2010 Serbia announced they had increased the reward for the capture of Mladic from 1.4 million to 14 million dollars. The international community has been pressuring the nation to pursue his capture to be tried by the indictments from the ICTY. Mladic’s capture would increase Serbia’s chances of entering the European Union, a club Serbia would benefit from joining. However, as mentioned in class, Mladic still has support and the ability to hide, but only for so long. After seeing the disguise and ridiculous actions of  Karadžić while in hiding it will be interesting to see what Mladic has been able to pull off. The arrest of Karadžić symbolizes the extent of the ICTY’s role in the region and the reality that arrest is inevitable.

Evaluating International Tribunals

Andrew’s post (below) raises the general question, addressed by both the Peskin and Barria and Roper articles, about how we should evaluate the legitimacy and effectiveness of international tribunals.  Peskin is critical of both the ICTY and ICTR for failing to achieve balanced prosecutions of individuals from warring parties on both sides, whereas Barria and Roper use the tangible measures of the extent to which the Tribunals have been able to apprehend elite perpetrators and the volume of indictments.

Are these fair and appropriate measures of  international tribunals’ successes and failures? What other measures should we consider?