Miša Đurković

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Institute for European Studies, Belgrade


The Political Dimension in the Work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: ICTY as a Form of Political Justice

In 1961 Otto Kirchheimer published his book Political Justice. The book was trying to illustrate how laws and courts are being used in political struggle. In this article, the author tries to apply this concept to the work of International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, and he tests the hypothesis claiming that transitional justice in ICTY case actually became political justice. He focuses on the ways in which ICTY was used as a tool of great powers to manipulate and influence political processes in the countries of former Yugoslavia that were subjected to it. The timing of issuing indictments, the length of the processes, the threats of indicting as a pressure, verdicts, work of appeal councils, etc, have been massively used as tools against political actors and the states during the work of ICTY. Justice was also used as a conditionality instrument during the process of European integration which also makes it a form of political justice. The author concludes by explaining why ICTY rose serious reservations among peoples of former Yugoslavia about the concept of transitional justice and the ways in which it is implemented, seeing in it plenty of elements of political justice.