Milan Martic (right) with General Radovan Karadzic (left) in 1994 (c) BBC News
On Monday, a court in Zagreb, Croatia, issued a European Arrest Warrant demanding the extradition of Serbian General Milan “Mile” Martic to stand trial in Croatia for shelling the towns of Karlovac and Jastebarsko near Zagreb in May 1995. During the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Martic was interior minister, defence minister and president of the self-proclaimed Autonomous Region of Krajina located in the south of Croatia near the Bosnian border.
Martic is currently in Estonia serving a 35-year sentence of imprisonment for war crimes committed against non-Serbs in Croatia for which he was convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2007. The ICTY concluded that Martic’s activities resulted in the expulsion of all Croatians and non-Serbs from the areas which were under his control.
Croatia had originally indicted Martic for war crimes in 2003 alongside Serbian military leader Milan Celeketic. However, authorities did not decide to proceed with the case against Martic until 2010 when it became clear that the ICTY would not prosecute Martic for the shelling of the towns.
Estonian authorities have requested time to consider the possibility of handing over Martic. Croatian authorities have indicated that the trial will go ahead regardless of the decision of the Estonian authorities.
The Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) has published its newsletter. This edition covers the recent proceedings in the Šešelj case where the ICTY Appeals Chamber upheld the decision of the Trial Chamber to continue the proceedings against Šešelj as soon as the newly appointed judge to the case, Judge Niang, will have finished familiarising himself with the record of the case.
The newsletter also looks back at various decisions or judgements rendered years ago by the ECCC, the ICTR and the ICTY but keeps us up to date as well with the current proceedings in front of the ICC, the STL and the ECCC.
You will also find in the newsletter analyses of recent conferences, among which figures a lecture on the ICC in the Chinese Context. An analysis of the recent book launch in The Hague on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is also provided.
The Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) has a new membership category. In addition to the constitutional membership categories of Full and Associate Members, the ADC-ICTY now welcomes “Affiliate Members”.
This new category is aimed at young practitioners, scholars, students and interns that have an interest in the ADC-ICTY and its activities. By becoming an ADC-ICTY affiliate member, young professionals will have the chance to stay in touch with fellow colleagues and friends, participate in monthly seminars, trainings and field trips, take part in the ADC Mock Trials and advocacy trainings, and remain part of the ADC-ICTY’s larger network.
Members will receive the biweekly ADC-ICTY newsletter and are invited to contribute to its Rostrum section. Moreover, the ADC-ICTY will be sending monthly information on job openings and events in the field of international (criminal) law.
Membership fees are 70 Euros per year. A reduced rate of 30 Euros per year is available for students and unpaid interns. Further information is available here.
For the application form, click here.
Ilawyerblog is pleased to announce the arrival of Alex Whiting as part of its team as guest blogger.
Alex Whiting is a Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School where he teaches, writes and consults on domestic and international criminal prosecution issues.
Previously, he worked for 18 years as a U.S. and international prosecutor. From 2010 until 2013, he was in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Before going to the ICC, Alex Whiting taught for more than three years as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, again with a focus on prosecution subjects. From 2002-2007, he was a Trial Attorney and then a Senior Trial Attorney with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Before going to the ICTY, he was a U.S. federal prosecutor for ten years.
Alex Whiting attended Yale College and Yale Law School. His publications include Dynamic Investigative Practice at the International Criminal Court, 76 Law and Contemporary Problems 163 (2014), International Criminal Law: Cases and Commentary (2011), co-authored with Antonio Cassese and two other authors, and In International Criminal Prosecutions, Justice Delayed Can Be Justice Delivered, 50 Harv. Int’l L. J. 323 (2009).
In an oral decision delivered yesterday, the judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) rejected Ratko Mladić‘s request for acquittal.
The request was made under Rule 98bis of the Rules of Procedure of the ICTY, which allows the judges to enter a judgment of acquittal after the close of the Prosecution case where “there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction.”
Ratko Mladić (c) The Telegraph
Mladić, the former Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), is charged with several counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes alleged to have been carried out in the course of a joint criminal enterprise to remove Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is allegedly responsible for the devastating incidents that occurred at Srebrenica in July 1995, where it is estimated several thousand Bosnian Muslim men were executed in the course of a single day.
In his request for acquittal, he argued that the Prosecution had failed to prove (a) the requisite genocidal intent; (b) sufficient control over non-VRS elements which perpetrated some of the crimes with which Mladić is charged; and (c) specific incidents with which he is charged. The prosecution, and eventually the judges, dismissed the defence arguments.
Mladić’s trial commenced on 16 May 2012, 17 years after he was first indicted. The Prosecution closed their case on 26 February 2014; the request for acquittal has come at the half-way point with the Defence due to open their case in May 2014.
ICC Prosecutor Bensouda (c) Max Koot
Last week, Chatham House hosted a guest lecture entitled “The International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: upholding international criminal law?”. The panel was composed of Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and Judge Meron, President of the ICTY and chaired by Dr Abiodun Williams, President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice.
The session tackled the difficult issues that have been faced by the ICC and the ICTY including both courts lack of police powers to enforce the decisions of its judges, the recurring criticism that the ICC’s prosecutorial strategy is biased against African nations and the recent series of contradictory decisions from the ICTY Appeals Chamber, which some argue have introduced uncertainty into the law on aiding and abetting under international criminal law. Continue reading