Croatia–Serbia genocide case
|This article is outdated. (August 2012)|
|Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia)|
|Court||International Court of Justice|
|Citation(s)||Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia)|
The Republic of Croatia filed the suit against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on July 2, 1999, citing Article IX of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The application was filed for Croatia by American lawyer David Rivkin. With the transformation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into Serbia and Montenegro and the dissolution of that country in 2006, Serbia is considered its legal successor.
The Republic of Serbia counter-filed a genocide lawsuit against the Republic of Croatia on January 4, 2010. The application covers missing people, killed people, refugees, expelled people and all military actions and concentration camps with historical account of World War II persecution of Serbs committed by the Independent State of Croatia, puppet state of Nazi Germany, and Ustaše during World War II.
Croatia waited for the conclusion of the Bosnian Genocide Case against what was then Serbia and Montenegro before it proceeded with its own case. Sakib Softić, agent of Bosnia and Herzegovina in its case, has said that Croatia is in a much better position than his country was in its own court suit.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia returned its preliminary objections on September 1, 2002. On November 18, 2008 the court decided on preliminary objections to the case filed by Serbia. The court ruled against Serbia's three objections to the case, while finding that one of these objections was not purely preliminary. Finally, the court decided that it had jurisdiction over the case. Croatia was represented at the proceedings by its justice minister, Ivan Šimonović. The decision made headlines in Croatia and Serbia, more poignantly due to the fact it was the anniversary of the fall of Vukovar in 1991 to Serb forces.
Serbian officials sought from Croatia to withdraw the lawsuit multiple times. Then President of Serbia Boris Tadić said that "Serbia considered in previous years, and still believes, that it is always better for all conflicts from wars during the 1990s to be solved in extra-judicial processes, through peaceful means, however, for such an approach of Serbia, partners on the other side are needed" and the Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić said that "I think it would be better for Croatia for it to never come to this process. Our main goal and wish is not to sue each other, but to cooperate on the road towards EU integration, to build good neighborly relations, to solve problems which we have inherited." In November 2013 Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dačić reiterated a mutual withdrawals of lawsuits between the two countries.
Serbia v. Croatia
Following the court ruling that it has the jurisdiction in Croatia's case, Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremić announced a plan to file a counter-suit against Croatia. The application was submitted on January 4, 2010. The document will include information on crimes committed against Serbs of Croatia in Gospić, Sisak, Pakrac, Karlovac, Osijek, Paulin Dvor and during the operations Flash, Storm and Medak Pocket. The lawsuit also covers all those victims murdered after the war as they tried to return to their homes they left as refugees. The lawsuit against Croatia contains a historical account, with a focus on World War II persecution of Serbs.
A public opinion poll in Serbia by Blic found that 69.7% of people supported a counter-suit, while 9.1% opposed it. The lawsuit has been opposed by the minor opposition Liberal Democratic Party whose leader said that "Serbia needs a smart foreign policy, which will not respond with a mistake to a mistake that was made in the last century by Croatia".
Serbia has repeatedly called for a mutual withdrawal of the genocide case as late as January 2014.
Relation to ICTY
In the final verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the case of Prosecutor v. Gotovina et al. was an acquittal, some German media have speculated that this opens a possibility for Serbia to pay large reparations to Croatia. However, Serbian media pointed out that several main suspsects involved in the war such as Momčilo Perišić, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović have also been acquitted by the ICTY, leading to speculation on pending likely the closure of Serbia's potential criminal responsibility.
|July 2, 1999||Croatia files against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.|
|March 1, 2001||Croatia submits a memorial to the ICJ, ahead of the March 14 deadline to do so.|
|September 1, 2002||The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia submits a counter-memorial to the ICJ, ahead of the September 16 deadline to do so.|
|February 4, 2003||The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is reconstituted as Serbia and Montenegro.|
|April 25, 2003||Croatia submits its written statement, ahead of the April 29 deadline to do so.|
|June 5, 2006||Serbia and Montenegro separate into individual countries with Serbia succeeding the state in all legal capacity.|
|February 26, 2007||A judgment is delivered in the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro).|
|May 26–30, 2008||Public hearings on the preliminary objections in the case.|
|November 18, 2008||The court rules that it has jurisdiction over the case.|
|January 4, 2010||Serbia files a counter-memorial against Croatia.|
|December 20, 2010||Croatia's submits its reply to the Serbian counter-memorial on the day of the deadline to do so.|
|November 4, 2011||Serbia submits its rejoinder on the day of the deadline to do so.|
|August 30, 2012||Deadline for Croatia to submit its additional reply to the Serbian counter-memorial.|
|March 3, 2014||Start of the hearing of the case.|
- Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia), International Court of Justice
- Preliminary Objections
- Application Instituting Proceedings
- Serbia files genocide lawsuit against Croatia
- No court trial would be better for Zagreb
- ICJ: Public hearings from Monday 3 March to Tuesday 1 April 2014
- At ICJ, Croatia accuses Serbia of genocide
- Softić prijatno iznenađen odlukom suda, Dnevni Avaz
- Preliminary Objections of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
- Šimonović: Odluka Međunarodnog suda pravde veliki je uspjeh Hrvatske
- Srbiji sude za genocid
- Serbia favors withdrawal of genocide lawsuits
- Official: Serbia will not drop Croatian genocide lawsuit unilaterally
- Jeremić: Serbia doesn’t want to go to court
- Kontratužba protiv Hrvatske
- PM favors withdrawal of genocide lawsuits
- Jeremić: Tužba zbog "Oluje"
- Stanje nacije
- Čedo Jovanović: Protutužbom Srbija nastavlja s pogrešnom politikom
- Srbija podnela tužbu protiv Hrvatske
- "Unconditional withdrawal of genocide lawsuits"
- Brey, Thomas (16 November 2012). "Ein Freispruch mit Folgen". Salzburger Nachrichten (in German). Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Hronika/385635/Presuda-stiti-Srbiju-od-tuzbi-za-genocid Presuda štiti Srbiju od tužbi za genocid