[JURIST] A coordinated hunger strike has halted proceedings before Bosnia's national war crimes after multiple defendants boycotted the court Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, demanding to be tried under the criminal code in place at the time of their alleged crimes, not under the 2003 criminal code [text] which authorizes forty-year maximum penalties for those crimes charged. The code enforced during the 1992-1995 civil war authorized maximum penalties of only fifteen years.
The war crimes Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] was established [JURIST report] in 2005 to relieve the caseload of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and is organized under Bosnian law. The court has convicted nine war criminals since its creation, most recently sentencing a Bosnian Serb to twenty years [JURIST report] in December. Bosnian lower courts have already tried approximately 1000 war crimes cases. Reuters has more.