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Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia)

International Court of Justice
www.icj-cij.org (2008)


In 1999, Croatia (plaintiff) sued what is now known as Serbia (defendant) in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for alleged violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention (Convention). Croatia alleged Serbia violated the Convention from 1991 to 1995 by directly engaging in or encouraging acts of “ethnic cleansing” of Croats in certain parts of Croatia. Croatia argued that the ICJ had jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to Article IX of the Convention. Serbia raised several preliminary objections to the ICJ’s jurisdiction. Among others, Serbia argued that its predecessor, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), did not automatically become a party to the Convention upon dissolution of its own predecessor, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Croatia argued that on April 27, 1992, the FRY made a declaration that it would “strictly abide by all the commitments that the SFRY had assumed.” Serbia responded by arguing that a much more specific notification would be required for the secession of a treaty. The ICJ considered the case and the general requirements for the process by which a State becomes bound by a treaty as a successor State or remains bound as a continuing State.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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