Genocide and the International Court of Justice: Finally, a Duty to Prevent the Crime of Crimes

William Schabas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The International Court of Justice has issued its long-awaited decision in the suit filed by Bosnia and Herzegovina against Serbia and Montenegro with respect to the 1992–1995 war. The decision confirms the factual and legal determinations of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ruling that genocide was committed during the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995 but that the conflict as a whole was not genocidal in nature. The Court held that Serbia had failed in its duty to prevent genocide in Srebrenica, although—because, the Court said, there was no certainty that it could have succeeded in preventing the genocide—no damages were awarded. The judgment provides a strong and authoritative statement of the general duty upon states to prevent genocide that dovetails well with the doctrine of the responsibility to protect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-122
Number of pages22
JournalGenocide Studies and Prevention
Volume2(2)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

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