1) Did genocide occur in Bosnia-Hercegovina?, andThen there is a third question which, while it is of interest primarily to lawyers of a certain type, may determine the outcome of the proceedings, which is:
2) If there was genocide, was it a result of policy on the part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ)?
3) Does the court have the authority to try the case?Then there is a question which is not a legal one at all, but might be the one that is most interesting to people following the case, which is:
4) What would be the political consequences of a guilty verdict?I doubt very much that I can give definitive answers to any of these four questions, but I think I can try to give a picture of some of the issues that will have to be considered along the way to an answer. First, an observation -- the issues at stake are at bottom political issues, and judicial institutions do not necessarily provide the best forum for political issues to be resolved. However, when there is a lack of will on the part of political institutions, this may be the only forum available. In that context, I feel confident in making a prediction: no matter what the outcome, very few people will be satisfied.
Having said that, let me see whether I can shed any light on the questions, one by one. I will be posting short essays related to each of the questions in a series of four posts. A word of caution: although I do own a briefcase, I am not a lawyer. Merely a talented amateur, like Emma Peel.