The Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

AuthorMadriz, Marco

M. CHERIF BASSIOUNI AND PETER MANIKAS, Transnational Publishers, Irvington, NY (1996); ($135.00), ISBN 1-57105-004-3; 1094 pp. (hardcover).

If the title of Professor Bassiouni's book states a relatively modest subject -- the law of the International Yugoslav Tribunal -- what emerges in over 1000 pages is much more ambitious. The book is an at once a documentary of the Balkan conflict, a treatise and commentary on the current state of international criminal law, a case-study-in-progress on war-time atrocities occurring in perhaps the most intractable conflict of the post-Cold War to-date, and an account on the international community's attempt to give it legal significance. Bassiouni, himself an active part of the Commission of Experts investigating allegations of atrocities in the former Yugoslavia, and a contributor to the effort to articulate the Tribunal's statute, takes the reader from the background of the conflict to the establishment of the Tribunal, both within the U.N. and the substantive and procedural provisions of its organic statute. At each stage, the book offers a variety of voices supplementing the author's own commentary, including fact-finding by the Commission of Experts, commentary by U.N. bodies, statements by Member-State representatives, views of the International Law Commission, and scholarly opinion.

Chapter I gives a background to the conflict in the Former Yugoslavia, tracing the roots of the region, the migrations and activities of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires that set the stage for the "jigsaw puzzle" complexities of the conflict. However, Bassiouni finds an overall plan to each phase of the conflict rather than senseless violence: indeed, the Commission of Experts found a strong probability that "ethnic cleansing" existed in policy. The appendix to the chapter details the findings of the Commission and the International Human Rights Law Institute staff, including reports of Serb, Muslim and Croat camps. Chapter II comprises a 'legislative history" of the Tribunal's Statute detailing not only the successive stages of Security Council action but the historical precedents regarding international tribunals. Chapter III discusses the competence of the Security Council to establish the Tribunal, and the Council's authority to articulate the substantive legal provisions of the Tribunal. With regard to the later, the U.N. recognized that, while the Security Council could not "legislate" the law, it could...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT