War crimes prosecution in a post-conflict era and a pluralism of jurisdictions : the experience of the Belgrade war crimes chamber
Sharon Weill and Ivan Jovanovic
International law in domestic courts : rule of law reform in post-conflict states
Cambridge [etc.] : Intersentia, 2012
This chapter on war crimes prosecution in the former Yugoslavia examines the function of the Serbian War Crimes Chamber (WCC) in Serbia. Remarkably, the Chamber - being established within the District Court of Belgrade - constitutes one of the very few courts in the world that, shortly after the ending of a conflict, is prosecuting its own nationals on a systematic scale. The first part of the contribution examines the background of the WCC as another establishment constituting an alternative to the ICTY. The second part provides a critical analysis of the first decisions issued by the Chamber during its first six years of operation, evaluating the WCC's approach to applying international law in practice and its importance as an international player in the wider context of the international rule of law. As the latter is dependent on the Chamber's objectice ability to apply international law - which, in practice, seems especially parochial as to the application of international humanitarian law - and its subjective political willingness to do so, the former represents one of its essential elements.