'Ethnic Cleansing' and Genocide: Similarities and Distinctions

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  • 1 Professor of Human Rights Law, National University of Ireland, Galway and Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights.

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  • 1 Prosecutor v. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33-A), Judgment,18 April 2004, paras. 5-38. 2 See Michael Scharf and William Schabas, Slobodan Milosevic on Trial.- A Companion, (New York and London, 2002). 3 See: Peter H. F. Bekker and Paul C. Szasz, "Casenote: Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide", 91(1) AJIL (1997), 121; Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, "Les ordonnances en indication de mesures conservatoires dans I'affaire relative à l'application de la Convention pour la prevention et la repression du crime de geno- cide", 39 Annuaire franfais du droit international (1993), 514; Ben Gaffikin, "The International Court of Justice and the Crisis in the Balkans: Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina u Yugoslavia, 32 I.L.M. 1599 (1993)",17 Sydney L. Rev. (1995), 458; Thomas D. Grant, "Territorial Status, Recognition, and Statehood: Some Aspects of the Genocide Case (Bosnia and Herzegovina u Yugoslavia)", 33 Stanford J Int'l L. (199'7), 305; Christine Gray, "Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina. v. Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro,)", 43 Int Comp. L. Q. (1994), 704; William L. Hurlock, "The International Court of Justice: Effectively Providing a Long Overdue Remedy for Engaging State-Sponsored Genocide (Bosnia-Herxegovina v. Yugoslavia)", 12 Am. U. J. Int'I L. of Pol'y (1997), 299; Rafaelle Maison, "Les ordonnances de la Cour international de justice dans l'affaire relative a 1'application de la Convention pour la prevention et la repression du crime de genocide', 3 EJIL (1994), 381;

  • Sandrine Maljean-Dubois, "L'affaire relative a 1'application de la Convention pour la prevention et la repression du crime de genocide (Bosnie-Herzegovine c. Yougoslavie), Arret du 11 Juillet 1996, exceptions preliminaries", 42 Annuairefranfais du droit international (1996), 357. 4 UN Doc. S/RES/827 (1993), Annex, Art. 4. 5 Prosecutor v. Milosevic et al. (Case no. IT-99-37-I), Indictment, 22 May 1999. 6 Prosecutor v. Plavsic (Case no. IT-00-39&40/1), Plea Agreement, 30 September 2002, para. 9. 7 Prosecutor v. Nikolic (Case No. IT-94-2-R61), Review of Indictment Pursuant to Rule 61, 20 October 1995, para. 34. 8 Prosecutorv.Jelisic (Case no. IT-95-10-T), Judgment, 14 December 1999; Prosecutor v. Sikirica et al. (Case no. IT-95-8-1), Judgment on Defence Motions to Acquit, 3 September 2001; Prosecutor v. Stakic (Case No. IT-97-24-T), Judgment, 31 July 2003. 9 Prosecutor v. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33-T), Judgment, 2 August 2001.

  • 10 Drazen Petrovic, "Ethnic Cleansing - An Attempt at Methodology", 5 EJIL (1994), 342; Catherine A. Mackinnon, "Rape, Genocide and Women's Human Rights", 17 Harvard Women's L. J (1994), 5, at 8; Lori Lyman Bruun, "Beyond the 1948 Convention - Emerging Principles of Genocide in Customary International Law," 17 Marylandj Int7L. f� Trade (1993), 193, at 200. Also: John Webb, "Genocide Treaty - Ethnic Cleansing - Substantive and Procedural Hurdles in the Application of the Genocide Convention to Alleged Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia", 23 Georgia J. Int7 Comp. L. (1993), 377, at 402-3. 11 "Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Note by the Secretary-General", UN Doc. A/51/457, para. 69. 12 UN Doc. A/CONF.157/24 (Part 1), 47-8. 13 "The Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina", UN Doc. A/RES/47/121. UN Doc. A/47/PV.91, 99 (102 in favour, with 57 abstentions, on a recorded vote). The abstentions concerned a provision in the resolution calling for an arms embargo to be lifted, and had nothing to do with the reference to genocide. 14 "Situation of Human Rights in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia: Violations of Human Rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)", UN Doc. A/RES/48/153; "Rape and Abuse of Women in the Areas of Armed Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia", UN Doc. A/RES/48/143; "Rape and Abuse of Women in the Areas of Armed Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia", UN Doc. A/RES/49/205; "Rape and Abuse of Women in the Areas of Armed Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia", UN Doc. A/RES/50/192; "Rape and Abuse of Women in the Areas of Armed Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia", UN Doc. A/RES/51/115. 15 UN Doc. A/47/PV.86, 31 (Jaya, Brunei Darussalam); UN Doc. A/47/PV.87, 14-5 (Khoshroo, Iran); UN Doc. A/47/PV.87, 24-5 (Elaraby, Egypt); UN Doc. A/47/PV.87, 46 (Huq, Bangladesh); UN Doc. A/47/PV.88,22 (Shkurti, Albania). 16 UN Doc. A/47/PV.86, 21 (Nobilo, Croatia); UN Doc. A/47/PV.86, 48 (Pirzada, Pakistan); UN Doc. A/47/PV.87, 2 (Al-Ni'mah, Qatar); UN Doc. A/47/PV.88, 65 (Ansay, Organization of the Islamic Conference). 17 UN Doc. A/47/PV.86, 46 (Cisse, Senegal); UN Doc. A/47/PV.88, 65 (Ansay, Organization of the Islamic Conference). 18 UN Doc. A/47/PV.88,12 (Arria, Venezuela).

  • 19 UN Doc. A/RES/47/80. See also: "Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination", GA Res. 48/91. 20 GA Res. 96(I). 21 Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, concluded on 9 December 1948, entered into force on 12 January 1951, 78 UNTS 277, Art. 2. 22 See: William A. Schabas, Genocide in International Law, (Cambridge, 2000). 23 CrimesAgainst Humanity and War Crimes Act, S.C. 2000, c. 24, ss. 4(3), 6(3).

  • 24 Mark Kramer, "Introduction", in Mark Kramer, (ed.), Redrawing Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East Central Europe, (Boulder, 2001), 1. 25 Petrovic, "Ethnic Cleansing - An Attempt ...", at 343. 26 See: Norman Cigar, Genocide In Bosnia: The Policy of Ethnic Cleansing, (College Station: Texas, 1995); Nathan Lerner, "Ethnic Cleansing", 24 Israel YBHR (1994),103; Webb, "Genocide Treaty - Ethnic Cleansing ..."; Damir Mirkovic, "Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide: Reflections on Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia", 548llnnalsAm.llcad Pol. f3 Soc. Science (1996),191; Andrew Bell-Fialkoff, A Brief History of Ethnic Cleansing", Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993,110-21. 27 For example, Prosecutor v. Blaskic (Case no. IT-95-14-T), Judgment, 3 March 2000, para. 469; Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia (serbia and Montenegro,), Further requests for the Indication of Provisional Measures, 13 September 1993, (1993] ICJ Reports 325, at 432, para. 70. 28 "Interim report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)", UN Doc. S/35374 (1993), para. 55. Also: M. Cherif Bassiouni and Peter Manikas, The Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, (New York, 1995), 608. 29 UN Doc. S/25274 (1993), para. 56. 30 UN Doc. S/PV.3134, para. 39. In an early report, Mazowiecki defined ethnic cleansing as "the elimination by the ethnic group exerting control over a given territory of members of other ethnic groups": UN Doc. A/47/666, LTN Doc. S/24809 (1992).

  • 31 "The Situation of Human Rights in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia", CHR Res.1992/S- 1/1, preamble. 32 Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia ..., Separate Reasons of Judge ad hoc Lauterpacht, 431, para. 69. 33 LTN Doc. S/PV.3106 (1992), 36. 34 UN Doc. A/C.3/48/SR.6, para. 29. 35 LTN Doc. A/CERD/SR.1003. 36 "Forced Population Transfer", S-CHR Res.1998/27. 37 Prosecutor v. Pandurevic (Case no. IT-98-33), Indictment, 27 October 1999, para. 1. 38 Prosecutor v. Popovic (Case no. IT-02-57-I), Indictment, 26 March 2002, para. 8; Prosecutor v. Nikolic (Case no. IT-02-56-I), Indictment, 26 March 2002, para. 8; Prosecutor v. Beara (Case no. IT-02-58-I), Indictment, 26 March 2002, para. 8; Prosecutor v. Nikolic (Case no. IT-02-63- I), Indictment, 6 September 2002, para. 8; Prosecutor v. Blagojevic (Case no. IT-02-60-PT), Indictment, 27 May 2002, para. 19; Prosecutor v Borovcanin (Case no. IT-02-64-I), Indictment, 6 September 2002, para. 8. 39 Prosecutor v. Kovacevic (Case no. IT-97-24-I), Indictment, 28 January 1998, para. 4; Prosecutor v. Kvocka et al. (Case no. IT-98-30/1 T), Amended Indictment, 1 August 2000, para. 4; Prosecutor v. Brdjanin (Case no. IT-99-36-T), Fifth Amended Indictment, 7 October 2002, para. 6. 40 Prosecutor v. Tadic (Case no. IT-94-1-A), Judgment,15 July 1999, para. 204. 41 Prosecutor v. Stakic (Case no. 97-24-T), Indictment, 31 August 2001, para. 17.

  • 42 Prosecutor v. Karadzic and Mladic (Case nos. IT-95-18-R61, IT-95-5-R61), Transcript of hearing, 28 June 1996,10. 43 Prosecutor v. Nikolic (Case No. IT-95-2-R61), Transcript, 9 October 1995.

  • 44 Prosecutor v. Tadic (Case no. IT-94-1-AR72), Decision on the Defence Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction, 2 October 1995, paras. 32, 45, 53, 54, 99,107. Also Prosecutor v. Tadic (Case no. IT-94-1-AR72), Decision on the Defence Motion on Jurisdiction,10 August 1995, para. 16. 45 Prosecutor v. Tadic (Case no. IT-94-1-T), Opinion and Judgment, 7 May 1997, para. 62. 46 Ibid., para. 84. Also paras.178,188, 312, 373, 460, 479. 47 Ibid., para. 62: "Many of these hard-fought and bloody conflicts took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina and many of the outrages against civilians, especially though by no means exclu- sively by Ustasa forces against ethnic Serbs, also took place there, particularly in the border area between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the Partisans were especially active and which is the very area in which Prijedor lies. A minister of the wartime Croatian puppet govern- ment had promised to kill a third of the Serbs in its territory, deport a third and by force convert the remaining third to Catholicism. Another urged the cleansing of all of the greatly enlarged Croatia of'Serbian dirt'. Wholesale massacres of Serbs ensued; in six months of 1941 the Ustasa may have killed well over a quarter of a million Serbs, although the exact number is a subject of much controversy. Bulgarian and Hungarian occupying forces in other parts of Yugoslavia also engaged in massacres of Serbs and in ethnic cleansing. However, other ethnic groups also suffered in Prijedor, the Partisans killing many prominent Muslims and Croats in 1942 and again, in nearby Kozarac, in 1945." (my italics) Also ibid., para. 84: "The objective of Serbia, the JNA and Serb-dominated political parties, primarily the SDS, at this stage was to create a Serb-dominated western extension of Serbia, taking in Serb-dominated portions of Croatia and portions, too, of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This would then, together with Serbia, its two autonomous prov- inces and Montenegro, form a new and smaller Yugoslavia with a substantially Serb population. However, among obstacles in the way were the very large Muslim and Croat populations native to and living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To deal with that problem tbe practice ofethnic cleansing was adopted. This was no new concept. As mentioned earlier, it was familiar to the Croat wartime regime and to many Serb writers who had long envisaged the redistribution of populations, by force if necessary, in the course of achieving a Greater Serbia. This concept was espoused by Slobodan Milosevic, with ethnic Serbs widely adopting it throughout the former Yugoslavia, including Serb political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia. In addition to the concept of a Greater Serbia, there was also a concept on the part of Croats of the creation of a Greater Croatia that would include all Croats living in the territory of the former Yugoslavia." (my italics)

  • 48 Prosecutor v Tadic (Case no. IT-94-1 T), Sentencing Judgment,14 July 1997, para. 38; also para. 56. 49 Prosecutor v . Yasil'evic (Case no. IT-98-32-T), Judgment, 29 November 2002, para. 191. 50 Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ..., Art. 2, 5. 51 Prosecutor v Plavsic (Case no. IT-00-39&40/1), Sentencing Judgment, 27 February 2003, para. 18. 52 Prosecutor v. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33 T) ..., 622. 53 Prosecutorv . Yasi jevic (Case no. IT-98-32-T), Judgment, 29 November 2002, para. 58 (reference omitted, emphasis added). 54 Ibid., para. 118. Also: Prosecutor v. Nikolic (Case no. IT-02-60/1-S), Sentencing Judgment, 2 December 2003, para. 59; Prosecutor v. Kordic F� Cerkex (Case no. IT-95-1412 T), Judgment, 26 February 2001, para. 851; Prosecutor v. Krnojelac (Case no. IT-97-25-A), Separate Opinion of Judge Schomburg, 17 September 2003, para. 14; Prosecutor v. Delalic et al. (Case no. IT-96-21- T), Judgment,16 November 1998, paras. 107,213; Prosecutor v. Kupreskic (Case no. IT-95-16-T), Judgment,14 January 2000, paras. 2, 38, 338. 55 Prosecutorv. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33 T) ..., para. 612.

  • 56 Prosecutor v. Sikirica et al...., para. 90. 57 Prosecutor v. Kupreskic ... , para. 606. 58 Jennifer Jackson Preece, "Ethnic Cleansing as an Instrument of Nation-State Creation: Changing State Practices and Evolving Legal Norms", 20 Human Rights Q. (1998), 817. 59 A. De Zayas, "International Law and Mass Population Transfers", 16 Harv. 7�7Z,._/. (1975), 207; A. De Zayas, Nemesis at Potsdam; The Expulsion of the Germans from the East, (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1989); Freiherr Von Braun, "Germany's Eastern Border and Mass Expulsions", 58 fIJIL (1964), 747. 60 "Comments by Governments on the Draft Convention prepared by the Secretariat, Communications from Non-Governmental Organizations", UN Doc. E/62. The United States cited specifically paragraph 3(b), "destroying the specific characteristics of the group by: (b) Forced and systematic exile of individuals representing the culture of a group...".The fears of the United States were not totally misplaced. One academic writer has said that "the expulsion of Germans and of persons of German descent living in the former eastern provinces of Germany and in eastern and south-eastern European countries frequently took place under conditions that are classifiable as genocide": Hans-Heinrich Jescheck, "Genocide", in Rudolph Bernhardt,

  • (ed.), Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Vol. II, (Amsterdam, 1995), 541-4, at 541. During United States Senate consideration of the Genocide Convention in 1950, James Finucane of the National Council for the Prevention of War testified about the United States's "genocidal intent, or genocidal carelessness, at Potsdam": United States of America, Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, January 23, 24, 25, and February 9, 1950, ( Washington,1950), 312. 61 Mark Tessler, fl History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, (Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1994), 291-307; Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal, Palestinians: the Making ofa People, (New York, 1993),146-56; Benny Morris, 1948 and After: Israel and the Palestinians, (Oxford, 1990), 22; John Quigley, "Displaced Palestinians and a Right of Return", 39 Harvard Int'l L.J (1998),171. 62 Giorgia Balladore Pallieri, "Les transferts internationaux de populations", [1952] II �?nnuaire de llnstitut de droit international, 138-99, at 142-3. 63 Ibid., 149. 64 UN Doc. E/447, 23. 65 Ibid., 24.

  • 66 UN Doc. A/C.6/234. 67 UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.82 (Tarazi, Syria). 68 Ibid., (Bartos, Yugoslavia). 69 Ibid., (Maktos, United States of America). 70 Ibid., (Fitzmaurice, United Kingdom). 71 Ibid., (Morozov, Soviet Union). 72 UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.82. 73 "Interim report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)", UN Doc. S/35374 (1993), para. 55. 74 Ibid., para. 56.

  • 75 Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia ..., Separate Reasons of Judge ad hoc Lauterpacht, 431-2, paras. 68-70. 76 Ibid., 447, para. 123(A)(ii).

  • 77 "Proposal by Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, Comments on the proposal submitted by the United States of America concerning terminology and the crime of genocide", UN Doc. PCNICC/1999/WGEC/DP.4,3. 78 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, HistoricalAtlas oftbe Holocaust, (New York, 1996), 25-7. 79 A. G. Israel v. Eicbmann, (1968) 36 ILR 5 (District Court, Jerusalem), para. 80. 80 Ibid., para. 244(1-3); also, paras.186-7.

  • 81 Federal Constitutional Court, 2 BvR 1290/99,12 December 2000, para. (III)(4)(a)(aa). Cited in Prosecutor v. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33 T) ... , para. 1287. 82 UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.83 (twenty-five in favour, sixteen against with four abstentions). See also: Yearbook of the International Law Commission 1991, vol. II(2), 102. The debates are discussed in considerable detail in Schabas, Genocide in International Law ..., 179-89. 83 UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.82 (Vallindas, Greece). 84 It was adopted on 9 December 1948, just hours before the General Assembly voted on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 85 "Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-ninth session 12 May-18 July 1997", UN Doc. A/52/10, para. 76. Also: Prosecutor. Kayishema and Ruzindana (Case no. ICTR-95-1-T), Judgment, 21 May 1999, para. 88. 86 Judge v Canada (Case no. 829/1998), Views, 13 August 2003, UN Doc. CCPR/C/78/D/829/1998, para 10.3.

  • 87 Prosecutorv. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33 T) ..., para. 580. 88 See, for example, Prosecutor vjelisic (Case No. IT-95-10-A), Partial Dissenting Opinion of Judge Wald, 5 July 2001, para. 1. 89 Prosecutorv. Stakic..., para. 519.

  • 90 Prosecutor v. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33-T) ..., para. 619. 91 Ibid. 92 Prosecutor v. Krstic (Case no. IT-98-33-A) ..., para.133. 93 Ibid.

  • 94 Ibid., paras. 33, 35. 95 Ibid., para. 26. 96 Ibid., para. 27 (references omitted).

  • 97 Ibid (references omitted). 98 Prosecutor v. Jelisic (Case No. IT-95-10-A), Judgment, 5 July 2001, para. 48. Also: Prosecutor v. Kunarac et al. (Case no. IT-96-23 &.IT-96-23/1-A), Judgment,12 June 2002, para. 98.

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