The Globalization of Justice

When the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was established by the UN Security Council on May 25, 1993, many regarded it as a meaningless gesture. Twenty years later, the tribunal's contribution to ending impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide has proved to be enormous.

PARIS – When the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the United Nations Security Council 20 years ago, on May 25, 1993, many regarded it as a meaningless gesture. At the time, the war in Bosnia was already more than a year old; the city of Sarajevo was under siege; tens of thousands of civilian noncombatants had already died; and hundreds of thousands had been forcibly displaced.

The Bosnian Serbs – and their supporters in Serbia – seemed to be winning the war, while the UN made no provision for taking into custody those charged with ordering or carrying out atrocities. Indeed, some saw the creation of the ICTY as a poor substitute for the military intervention that was needed to halt the slaughter.

For a long time, that cynical response seemed to be justified. The ICTY was slow in getting off the ground. It took the UN 14 months to appoint a chief prosecutor. Another year passed before his office issued indictments against high-ranking figures responsible for major crimes. By then, the massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, the largest mass killing in Europe since World War II, had already taken place.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/xZQrdl8;
  1. An employee works at a chemical fiber weaving company VCG/Getty Images

    China in the Lead?

    For four decades, China has achieved unprecedented economic growth under a centralized, authoritarian political system, far outpacing growth in the Western liberal democracies. So, is Chinese President Xi Jinping right to double down on authoritarianism, and is the “China model” truly a viable rival to Western-style democratic capitalism?

  2. The assembly line at Ford Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

    Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

    The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

  3. Donald Trump Saul Loeb/Getty Images

    The Globalization of Our Discontent

    Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.

  4. A general view of the Corn Market in the City of Manchester Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    A Better British Story

    Despite all of the doom and gloom over the United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union, key manufacturing indicators are at their highest levels in four years, and the mood for investment may be improving. While parts of the UK are certainly weakening economically, others may finally be overcoming longstanding challenges.

  5. UK supermarket Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    The UK’s Multilateral Trade Future

    With Brexit looming, the UK has no choice but to redesign its future trading relationships. As a major producer of sophisticated components, its long-term trade strategy should focus on gaining deep and unfettered access to integrated cross-border supply chains – and that means adopting a multilateral approach.

  6. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now