Closure of the ICTY: doubtful justice in the Former Yugoslavia?

Thumbnail Image
Ceta, Adriana
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In order to complete its work and as a result of pressure from the United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced a completion strategy that involved the conclusion of the Tribunal’s investigations by 2004, trials by 2008, and appeals by the end of 2010. The completion strategy also involves the transfer of pending cases, to the national courts in the territory where the respective offences were committed. The prospect of such transfers raises serious human right concerns. The present paper explores the current conditions and standards that prevail in the local jurisdictions with respect to its legal systems and in so doing assesses the ability of national Courts to fulfill the requirements set by the referral bench. The author argues that the national courts, while having made significant improvements in the administration of justice, have yet to reach internationally acceptable standards for the adjudication of war crimes and crimes against humanity cases, which questions the ICTY’s decision to transfer such cases to domestic jurisdictions, even in the face of such apprehension, as expressed by it’s Chief Prosecutor. The author, therefore, concludes that the implementation of the completion strategy and the rush to close the ICTY has hampered the administration of justice in the former Yugoslavia.
Second semester University: University of Vienna
administration of criminal justice, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia, international criminal tribunals, former Yugoslavia