Two political parties from Republika Srpska, the majority Bosnian Serb entity, have proposed that the State parliament abandon the State Court, claiming that the court is biased against Serbs in its prosecution of war crimes; one party is the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) of Radovan Karadzic (currently on trial at the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia) and the other is the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), the ruling party. President of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Meddzida Kreso, has urged the international community to intervene, stating that this “is in fact a hint towards a much more serious plan to abolish all other state-level institutions, such as the Justice Ministry, the Defence Ministry, and SIPA [State Information and Protection Agency].”
Should this threat be taken seriously? Former deputy prosecutor at the ICTY and current president of the International Centre for Transitional Justice David Tolbert points out the bill as a culimination of a “sustained campaign to undermine the court’s work . . . budget cuts, the stalling of the National War Crimes Strategy – a system envisaged to complete the majority of Bosnian war crimes cases within 15 years – a relentless campaign of public attacks.” Can the international community force a country to maintain a semi-domestic legal institution it does not want?
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