A war court set up in May 1993 by the United Nations to track down and punish those responsible for atrocities committed in Yugoslavia. The tribunal is also referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It is impossible to give an exact number of indictments given out by the tribunal, as they work both publicly and in secret. Perhaps their most prominent target so far has been Slobodan Milosevic, who was safe from advances by international legal authorities to attempt to arrest him, as he was a leader of the Yugoslavian government. Recent events may change all that, though.

Vojislav Kostunica, the new democratically elected president of the country, has stated that he does not respect the authority of the tribunal, adding that it was not an international court of law, but a court of vengeance for the United States.

The full name of the institution is “The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia” (ICTY). The court consists of judges and prosecutors. They prosecute those accused of breaching the Geneva conventions, violations of customs of war, genocide, and crimes against humanity. So far the court has prosecuted about a hundred people, although the number is constantly on the rise.

The Serbian army was the aggressor in these wars, and has as such been responsible for most of the crimes. Bosnian Serb and Yugoslav/Serbian governments have a history of delaying or refusing to hand over a lot of the accused, notably Slobodan Milošević and Radovan Karadžić who were both heads of states during the war. Milošević was apprehended in 2001, while Karadžić is still on the run.

Several Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Muslim army officers have also been extradited and trialled in the Hague, despite occasional delays caused by the Croatian government.

This was the first international court to declare rape an instrument of genocide.

This institution's mandate expires in 2008.

On March 12, 2003, the Hague court was expanded to International Criminal Court.

Its web page is at http://www.un.org/icty/

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