Thursday, March 01, 2007

ICJ dissenting opinion on Bosnia v Serbia

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Serbia failed to use its clear influence with Bosnian Serbs to prevent the genocide of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica; however, it also exonerated Serbia of direct responsibility for or complicity in those crimes.

Those who are fond of migraines may care to examine the Summary of the Judgement issued by the ICJ. I’ve only had time to skim the document, but the following dissenting opinion of Judge ad hoc Mahiou kind of leaps off the page:

... I cannot subscribe to most of the substantive findings reached by the Court by way of what I believe to be: a timorous, questionable view of its role in the evidentiary process, a deficient examination of the evidence submitted by the Applicant, a rather odd interpretation of the facts in the case and of the rules governing them and, finally, a method of reasoning which remains unconvincing on a number of very important points. ... In my view, the Respondent’s responsibility appears clearly established... Even assuming the findings in respect of these charges to be problematic, the evidence before the Court appears sufficiently strong and convincing to have at the very least justified a finding of complicity in the crime of genocide; serious weaknesses and contradictions clearly emerge in the reasoning of the Court, which exonerates the Respondent from such responsibility.

I could be wrong, but something tells me Mahiou’s dissenting opinion may become more significant than the majority judgement.

By the way, Ahmed Mahiou so far as I can determine is from Algeria, which I’m not sure would be one of those countries that abide by the rule of law.


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