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When Justice Meets Politics

Independence and Autonomy of "Ad Hoc International</I> Criminal Tribunals


Klaus Bachmann, Thomas Sparrow-Botero and Peter Lambertz

Are the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) independent actors, who mete out fair and un-biased justice, or instruments of a new world order, which execute the will of the most powerful states? By applying process tracing and frame analysis, this book reveals the interplay between the power politics of states, the agenda setting power of international criminal tribunals and the scope of the autonomy which the tribunals, the prosecutors and judges enjoy – and how they make use of it. The book details the mechanisms that govern judicial behaviour at the ICTY and the ICTR as well as the influence of the media, non-governmental organisations, governments and international organisations on judges and prosecutors. Last but not least, it shows why and how initially controversial frames like those about the «genocide in Srebrenica» and «the Rwandan genocide» became almost undisputed notions which are hardly challenged by anyone today.


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Part I The ICTY’s Role in Serbia’sand Croatia’s EU Accession – an Agent or a Principal of Europeanisation?


Part I The ICTY’s Role in Serbia’s and Croatia’s EU Accession – an Agent or a Principal of Europeanisation? Introduction There were only a few days left in 2009 when Serbia decided to make a historic move. On December 22, President Boris Tadi officially handed in his country’s application for European Union (EU) membership in Stockholm, Sweden.13 Hailed as a “new beginning”14 and as “a crossroads”15, this move carried huge significance, as it signalled Serbia’s official intention to join the ever-growing EU club and forget, once and for all, the international isolation it was subject to in the past. Six years before, Serbia’s neighbouring country and former enemy, Croatia, had also achieved the same benchmark when it applied for membership. Despite being regarded as one of the region’s frontrunners in negotiations with the EU, Zagreb’s path towards the EU has not been free of hurdles and postponements. Nevertheless, it was given the go-ahead by the European Commission in 2011, signed the Treaty of Accession in December 2011 and then, in January 2012, voted in a referendum to join the group of nations. If everything goes according to plan, the country on the Adriatic will be able to proudly boast about its EU membership status in 2013.16 Both in Serbia’s case and in Croatia’s situation, one key fact stands out: as the signatories of the Thessaloniki Summit in June 2003 emphatically asserted, “the future of the Balkans is within the European Union.”17 What is most striking about this statement...

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