Position Paper / White Paper

LEGACY PR China ICJ - Topic 1

single post cover

Topic: Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)
Country: The People’s Republic of China
Committee: International Court of Justice

Over the last four years, the world has watched as tensions in the Balkan region has continued to rise to a point of widespread destruction. Many lives have been lost and it seems that many will soon perish in the future. Bosnia has made it clear that they blame Yugoslavia for violating the Genocide Convention. Let it be known they did not blame Yugoslavia officially for any other crime whether it be committed or not. As a court the ICJ needs to understand exactly what we are reviewing and make sure that Yugoslavia will be tried for what they have been officially blamed for: violating the Genocide Convention.

What we will be debating consists of two components: whether actions have been committed that are considered acts of genocide, and if Yugoslavia can be held responsible for committing the alleged acts of genocide. First, the definition of genocide needs to be clear. The convention states, “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: killing, torturing, relocating the group from one hand to another, preventing births within the group, and trying to physically destroy a group’s condition of life”. The facts provided from the Bosnian party has addressed the actions of the ethnic Serbians within the Bosnian border. These facts clearly state that the ethnic Serbs have tortured Muslims within Bosnia and have killed many as well. The facts also present that Bosnian citizens have been forced to relocate, another aspect of criteria to make this appear as genocide. However, the counter-argument analyzes the secession of Bosnia from Yugoslavia. The violent conflict began before Bosnia was recognized as a separate sovereign nation. With this in mind, the acts within Bosnia by ethnic Serbs seem to fit the criteria for engaging in a civil war, and their motive may be to maintain the union. Death, torture, and relocating occur within every civil war and under the category of war, do not classify as genocide.

This red flag in the Bosnia argument creates desire for further questioning before an appropriate opinion and ruling can be declared.

Work Cited:

http://www.preventgenocide.org/law/convention/text.htm The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.