[JURIST] The International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] did not consider the full archives from the war crimes tribunal at The Hague in making its finding that Serbia did not commit genocide [JURIST report] during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war [Wikipedia backgrounder] and was not liable for damages, instead relying on material in the court's public record that had been censored by agreement with Serbian representatives, the New York Times reported Monday. Passages in the ICTY documents used by the ICJ were blacked out as a matter of national security upon the request of the Serbian government and the ICJ did not itself request the complete original archive from Serbia. As a result, lawyers, judges, and legal scholars have raised questions as to the legitimacy of the decision.
The case against Serbia [JURIST news archive] marked the first time that a UN member state has been tried for genocide. The separate International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] has been hearing individual cases of alleged war crimes since 1993. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] was on trial at the ICTY on genocide charges before his death [JURIST report] last year. The ICTY is scheduled to finish all trials by 2008 and all appeals by 2010, but the US has urged the tribunal's continuation [JURIST report] until police arrest two of the ICTY's most wanted fugitives - Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile] and his military commander Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The New York Times has more.