ICJ to launch debate in genocide lawsuits

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will launch a debate in the dispute between Serbia and Croatia on mutual genocide suits on March 3.

Source: Tanjug
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As the sides in the dispute did not file tort claim against the other, the court will not tackle this matter and will discuss the allegations from the suit and countersuit and establish whether Croatia and Serbia, as countries, conducted genocide in the territory of Croatia in the period from 1991 to 1995 covered by the suit and countersuit.

The tort claim issue may be launched only if the court establishes that one of the countries was responsible for genocide.

The debate will last a month and end on April 1, as the final part of the dispute launched in 1999 when Croatia filed to suit to ICJ.

Serbia reacted with its countersuit ten years later, in 2009.

Experts believe that the final ruling which cannot be appealed could be made public by the end of the 2013 or in early 2015 and will be binding for both countries.

A total of 17 judges, 15 of them regular and two ad hoc judges from Croatia and Serbia, will decide on the suit and countersuit filed.

The judges will comprise professor of the Faculty of Law Milenko Kreca and retired professor of the Faculty of Law in Zagreb Budislav Vukas.

The hearing will be chaired by ICJ President judge Peter Tomka from Slovakia.

The Serbian legal team is headed by lawyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sasa Obradovic who already represented Serbia in cases before ICJ.

The debate will open on March 3 by the presentation of the Croatian legal team and the Serbian team will start presenting their arguments a week later, on March 10.

Both sides have around ten witnesses and the hearing for some of them will be closed for public, ICJ stated.

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