•  
  •  
 

Abstract

In August 2001, a trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the

former Yugoslavia (ICTY) handed down the tribunal's first genocide conviction.

In this landmark case, Prosecutor v. Radislav Krsti6, the trial chamber determined

that the 1995 Srebrenica massacres-in which Bosnian Serb forces executed 7,000-

8,000 Bosnian Muslim men-constituted genocide. This Note acknowledges the

need for a dramatic expression of moral outrage at the most terrible massacre in

Europe since the Second World War. However, this Note also challenges the

genocide finding. By excluding consideration of the perpetrators' motives for

killing the men, such as seeking to eliminate a military threat, the Krsti6 chamber's

method for finding specific intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims, in whole or in

part, was incomplete. The chamber also loosely construed other terms in the

genocide definition, untenably broadening the meaning and application of the

crime. The chamber's interpretation of genocide in turn has problematic

implications for the tribunal, enforcement of international humanitarian law, and

historical accuracy. Thus highlighting instances where inquiry into motives may

be relevant to genocide determinations, this Note ultimately argues for preserving

distinctions between genocide and crimes against humanity, while simultaneously

expanding the legal obligation to act to mass crimes that lack proof of genocidal

intent.

Share

COinS