Monitoring War Crimes Trials Cover Image

Monitoring War Crimes Trials
Monitoring War Crimes Trials

Author(s): Vesna Teršelič, Milena Čalić-Jelić, Jelena Đokić Jović
Subject(s): Criminal Law, Civil Society, Recent History (1900 till today), Studies in violence and power, Peace and Conflict Studies, Court case
Published by: Documenta - Centar za suočavanje s prošlošću
Keywords: civil society; dealing with the past; war crimes; trials; monitoring; ICTY; ICTR; SCSL; STL; e International Criminal Court;
Summary/Abstract: The biggest expectations, concerning an expected response from the state institutions to crimes and political violence, are related to trials. Since the trials, from the very moment when crimes were committed, have been recognized as the only adequate response of the state legal institutions, they have been followed in public with interest and tension. We are all aware of the fact that ending investigations and then raising indictments and holding trials are complicated by the fact that proceedings are being brought against direct perpetrators and commanders who were in power not only at the time when crimes were committed, but have remained powerful even today. After more than six decades since the first trials against defendants for war crimes and crimes against humanity were held before tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo, it has become clear that judgements, even when they were perceived as just by the legal professionals as well as by survivors and the public, have not always brought the expected satisfaction. Social expectations related to the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes Committed in Former Yugoslavia, established by the UN Security Council in 1993, which is getting closer to the end of its most intensive part of work and starting of a residual mechanism, as well as expectations related to processing war crimes in post-Yugoslav countries, have been realized only partially. Public opinion polls, conducted in 2006, showed that the highest number of citizens preferred war crimes trials, as sanctions for committed crimes, but the courts’ work ranked relatively low. On the scale 1 to 5, the Hague tribunal ranked on average 2.3, while domestic courts ranked 2.5 (Kardov: 119).

  • Page Range: 94-101
  • Page Count: 8
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Language: English