Emory International Law Review


Milena Sterio


In March 2016, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadžic, of genocide and crimes against humanity. According to the Trial Chamber, the crimes were committed as part of four joint criminal enterprises in which Karadžic was a protagonist. The Article will specifically focus on the interpretation of genocide by the ICTY judges in this recent decision. The Trial Chamber’s interpretation of the intent requirement under the Genocide Convention and the customary law definition of genocide is novel and had not been espoused by past tribunals. This Article will demonstrate that in modern-day conflicts, the finding of genocidal intent may be an impossible task for the prosecution and that the Trial Chamber’s method of inferring intent based on knowledge and other indirect factors may be the only way that prosecutors will be able to obtain future genocide convictions.