Answering for War Crimes Lessons from the Balkans

Theodor Meron

in War Crimes Law Comes of Age

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268567
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683534 | DOI:
Answering for War Crimes Lessons from the Balkans

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The great hope of tribunal advocates was that the individualization and decollectivization of guilt – placing responsibility on the leaders and the perpetrators of atrocities, rather than on whole communities – would help bring about peace and reconciliation. The tribunal's critics argued that it would obstruct peace negotiations. How, they protested, could those who make decisions at the negotiating table be expected to agree to provisions that might endanger their leadership and bring them to justice? The irony is that both sides were proved wrong. Because of the international community's reluctance or inability to enforce indictments, the tribunal has had no major impact, positive or negative, on national reconciliation. It may, however, have had some positive impact on the broader peace process.

Keywords: criminal tribunals; war crimes; former Yugoslavia

Chapter.  3365 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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