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The icty’s Conditionality Dilemma

On the interaction of influences of the European Union’s Conditionality policy and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on the development of rule of law in Serbia

In: European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
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The European Union has made cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia a crucial condition to furthering relations with Serbia. This approach, known as “icty conditionality”, stems from the conviction that the Tribunal is a key factor in rebuilding the rule of law in the Western Balkans. In contrast to the existing literature on eu conditionality in general or on icty conditionality in specific, this article emphasizes the relevance of all involved actors: it examines the interaction of icty conditionality, domestic factors and the icty’s judicial performance influencing the development of the rule of law in Serbia. The article concludes that the goal of using the icty as a tool to establish the rule of law in Serbia has failed due to a lack of norm diffusion, although all icty conditionality requirements have eventually formally been fulfilled. This was not only due to inconsistent application of icty conditionality on the eu’s side, but also on account of deficiencies in the legal operation of the Tribunal. Lastly, neither the eu’s demands nor the icty’s work fell on fruitful domestic grounds.

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