Croatia contended that Serbia was responsible for breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide committed in Croatia between 1991 and 1995. In its counter-claim, Serbia contended that Croatia was itself responsible for breaches of the Convention committed in 1995 in the “ Republika Srpska Krajina”, an entity established in late 1991.
It is a lengthy judgment (146 pages / 524 paragraphs) and reveals much of the horror of the conflict. The court first decided (11 judges to 6) that its jurisdiction to entertain Croatia's claim extended to before 27th April 1992. The court then decided (15 to 2) to reject Croatia's claim and unanimously dismissed Serbia's counter claim.
Thus, despite the appalling atrocities of the period, genocide had not been committed. Although the court held that the evidence established the actus reus of genocide in relation to both Croatia and Serbia, the necessary intentional element (or dolus specialis) was lacking.
Here is the judgment and Press Release:
- 03/02/2015 - 2015/4 - Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia) - The Court rejects Croatia's claim and Serbia's counter-claim 240Kb
Wikipeda - The Yugoslav Wars
Youtube - Croatian War of Independence
Wikipedia - Croatian War of Independence
Sydney Morning Herald 4th February - UN's highest court absolves Croatia and Serbia of Genocide during 1991-95 war