ICJ Finds Intent Lacking in Croatia and Serbia Genocide Cases

By Ena Cefo

The ICJ ruled against the complaint and counter-complaint between the governments of Croatia and Serbia for genocide allegedly committed in their respective territories in the early 1990s. The ICJ acknowledged widespread violence and destruction, but did not find “intent to destroy a group” as required for a finding of genocide under the Genocide Convention of 1948. In its report, the ICJ differentiated ethnic cleansing from genocide and ruled that the intent “to inflict damage on [a group] or to remove the population” did not suffice to prove genocide. Serbian and Croatian leaders expressed disappointment at the ruling, but hoped that the resolution of the cases would allow both countries to move on and rebuild their futures.