Serbia files genocide suit against Croatia in ICJ

Serbia files genocide suit against Croatia in ICJ

[JURIST] The Serbian government on Monday filed a lawsuit against Croatia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website], accusing the Croatian government of committing genocide during the 1991-1995 Balkan War [JURIST news archive]. The suit [press release] is in response to a similar suit [case materials] filed by Croatia against Serbia in 1999. The ICJ ruled [JURIST report] last year that it has jurisdiction to hear that case. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said that Serbia had hoped to avoid filing suit but was left with no choice when Croatia refused to withdraw its case. In its suit, Serbia claims [AP report] that Croatia committed genocide by expelling its Serb population in 1995.

In 2007, the ICJ ruled in a similar lawsuit brought by Bosnia against Serbia. The court found that although the Serbian government was not directly responsible for genocide [JURIST report] during the war, the country failed to meet its obligations to prevent genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention. That case marked the first time that a UN member state had been tried for genocide.