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Prosecutor v. Delalic

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Appeals Chamber
Case No. IT-96-21-A (2001)


In 1992, during conflict in the Balkans, Bosnian and Croat forces took over villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, detaining prisoners in the village of Celebici, where the forces subjected them to torture and cruel treatment. In response to these mass atrocities, the United Nations Security Council created the first international criminal tribunal, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). In 1993, four members of the Bosnian and Croat forces involved in the abuses at Celebici (defendants) were brought to trial before the ICTY. The Trial Chamber determined that three out of the four defendants were guilty of various breaches of the Geneva Conventions for acts of killing, torture, and sexual abuse of the Celebici detainees. The Trial Chamber also made numerous findings, including that a Military Investigative Commission was established to review detentions, but that it did not meet the requirements of the Geneva Convention, and that the detained civilians did not possess weapons or participate in political activity. The Trial Chamber concluded that the confinement of civilians during armed conflict may be authorized in limited circumstances, but is unlawful if the detaining power is not in compliance with Article 42 of Geneva Convention IV. The four defendants, along with the prosecution, appealed the decision, as well as the conclusion that some of the civilians were illegally detained.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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