Friday, 10 July 2015

The twentieth anniversary of Srebrenica

Saturday 10 July marks the twentieth anniversary of Srebrenica genocide. Memorial events will take place in remembrance of the victims, including a service to bury 136 newly-identified victims.

This week the UN Security Council considered a resolution marking the anniversary and honouring the victims. This resolution was vetoed by the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the Security Council.

Jan Eliasson. UN  File Photo/Kim Haughton
Jan Eliasson addressed the Council during its deliberations, summarising developments since the genocide in addressing international crimes and difficulties still faced by the UN today. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, also briefed the Council via video teleconference from Geneva. A press release can be found here.

In 2007 the International Court of Justice handed down judgement in a case brought by Bosnia & Herzegovina against Serbia and Montenegro concerning alleged violations of the Genocide Convention 1948. The ICJ held that acts of killing and causing serious bodily harm or mental harm to the group of the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina constituted acts of genocide. There have been numerous cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia determining criminal responsibility for individuals involved in the events also, as well as proceedings before domestic courts in the Netherlands relating to the actions of Dutch peacekeepers. Background on the events and many of the international cases can be found here. An update on the most recent ruling by the Dutch courts can be found here.

The International Law Centre will be on a break for summer now, but will be back in August with more updates.

/ Sally