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Slobodan Miloevic Trial - Case Study Example

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Slobodan Miloevic Trial

The main reason for this persecution was cultural and religious hatred: most Albanians are traditionally Muslims and most Serbs are traditionally Eastern Orthodox. In 1997, Milosevic was elected president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and on February 1998 he launched an attack on Kosovo. The crimes committed were numerous - involving 3 countries and 8 years - and severe including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, breaches to the Geneva Conventions, something the international community was not ready to tolerate any more. Thus, after these crimes, the trial arrived; a trial that had been belated due to Milosevic's illness.
The complications of enforcing the Tribunal jurisdiction in Kosovo had been acknowledge as being within the sovereign territory of the new Yugoslavia (Wortzel (1999):380). However, the ICTY is considered a subsidiary organ of the UN, and the legal basis for the Security's Council power to establish the Tribunal is set out in article 39, Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN, that empowers the Security Council to take actions to maintain and restore international peace and security (Wortzel (1999):381). Also, this Chapter allows a tribunal to exercise primacy without the consent of the State. Another justification is the principle of universal jurisdiction where some crimes are so offensive as to give all states jurisdiction over the accused. Likewise, the Statute for the ICTY (art. 1) is clear as to the Tribunal's geographic and temporal jurisdiction stating that it "shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 in accordance with the provisions of the Statute."

Milosevic was charged with several counts. The crimes were alleged to have occurred in Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina between the years 1991 and 1999. The main accusations consisted of widespread killing, removing non- Serbs from territories of Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia, detention of civilians, deportation of forcible transfer of civilians, torture, extermination of detainees through starvation, providing contaminated water and inadequate medical care, requiring forced labor and committing constant physical and psychological assault, and destruction of their homes as well as cultural and historical institutions and monuments. He was accused under command responsibility for planning, instigating, ordering, aiding to commit these crimes. Under this doctrine he could be held criminal responsible if he had an effective command position, knew or had reasons to know that his subordinated were committing these crimes or were about to it and did not take reasonable measures or actions to prevent such acts and to punish the perpetrators. Furthermore, he was accused for being the co-perpetrator in a joint criminal enterprise. Under these doctrines International Criminal Law permits that an accused could be held criminally responsible even if he did not issue the orders.
Accordingly, there were 3 indictments. The first one is the Kosovo indictment where Milosevic as President of the FRY, Supreme Commander of the Yugoslavian Army (VJ), President of the Supreme Defense Council and ...Show more

Summary

In response to public outrage against the atrocities committed towards women, men and children during the conflict between Serbs, Croatians and Bosnian Muslims, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the UN Security Council in 1993 (Wojcik, Bennett, et…
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