The legitimacy of international courts: Victims’ evaluations of the ICTY and local courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sanja Kutnjak Ivković*, John Hagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a 2007 survey of victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity from Bosnia and Herzegovina. We study the level of diffuse and specific support for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) among its constituency by exploring the respondents’ views about the ICTY and the local courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. Our results show that, whereas the ICTY was the preferred decisionmaker for war crimes and crimes against humanity for the majority of the respondents, ethnicity plays a strong role in the perceptions of the ICTY’s legitimacy. Compared with Croat and Serb respondents, who typically expressed little confidence in the ICTY, the Bosniak/Muslim respondents seemed to show the greatest degree of support for the ICTY. Although the majority of the respondents evaluated the ICTY as fair, the level of support for the ICTY was sharply divided across ethnic lines as well and was related to evaluations of the ICTY’s distributive fairness and procedural fairness, and to perceptions about the judges’ (lack of) political independence. The majority of the respondents evaluated only one domestic court-the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina-as fair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-220
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Human rights
  • ICTY
  • International courts
  • Legitimacy
  • Procedural justice
  • Victims

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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