Prosecutor v. Kupreškić et al.
Crimes Against Humanity | Systemic Practice
Although the Statute of the Tribunal does not specifically include enforced disappearances in the list of acts that could constitute a crime against humanity, the Tribunal found that the massive and systematic practice of enforced disappearance amounted to "other inhumane acts" for the purposes of the definition of crime against humanity. In particular, the Tribunal argued that the category of ”other inhumane acts” was designed as a residual one, and that parameters for its interpretation could be identified according to international standards on human rights, which provide a set of basic rights pertaining to all human beings. According to the Tribunal, the infringement of such rights, including through enforced disappearances, may amount to a crime against humanity if carried out in a systematic manner and on a large scale. The Tribunal found that, in this case, the crimes against humanity of persecution, murder and inhuman acts were committed with the goal of spreading terror among the population in order to deter the members of a particular ethnic group - the Bosnian Muslim community - from returning to their homes.
January 14, 2000
Article 5(a) [ICTY], Article 5(h) [ICTY], Article 5(i) [ICTY]
Facts of the Case
In April 1993, in the context of the conflict following the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, Bosnian Croat forces attacked the Bosnian Muslim inhabitants of a village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, killing over 100 civilians. The attack left the Croat houses untouched, suggesting an attempt to “ethnically cleanse” the village by systematically attacking only Muslim houses. A number of people disappeared in the aftermath of the attack.