Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Karadžić and Mladić

Today in a courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, two of the chief architects of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia during the 1990s came face to face. On trial for genocide and other crimes related to his role as the political leader of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadžić called upon Ratko Mladić, the Bosnian Serb military leader during the ethnic cleansing, to testify on his behalf. Mladić, whose trial for similar crimes is ongoing, denounced the court as "satanic" and refused to answer the substantive questions Karadžić presented, citing his health and his desire not to incriminate himself.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
Both Karadžić and Mladić are charged with genocide in connection with the fall of Srebrenica in 1995. Over 7500 Bosnian men were executed when the army of the Republika Srpska, commanded by Mladić, overran a poorly defended United Nations "safe area" that had been created in an effort to protect Bosnians fleeing fighting in surrounding communities.

Meanwhile, trials at the ICTY continue to raise questions regarding their length and cost. To address these questions, Stuart Ford offers a way to judge the complexity of cases in order to compare more accurately the efficiency of different courts. By the measures he employs, the ICTY fares well in comparison to courts handling similarly complex criminal cases.