- Criminal Trial as a Tool to Re-Write History
- Conference "Remembering the Bosnian Genocide"
- Book/source title
- Remembering Bosnian Genocide
- Book/source subtitle
- Justice, Memory and Denial
- Pages (from-to)
- Sarajevo: Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
There are at least three reasons why the states never volunteer to admit involvement in genocide. The first reason is that the state accused of genocide if found liable at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will most be likely be ordered to pay reparations to the damaged party.
The second reason is that a court’s recording that genocide has been committed becomes a permanent historical record, which will cleave forever to that state as a heavy, unpleasant legacy. By denying genocide, the leading elites create a counter narrative, contributing to equalisation of criminal and historical responsibility or even trying – and achieving - to cast the victims side as the principle villain.
The third reason is that not every genocide ends up in a victory and by denying of any wrongdoing by the past regime, the successor regime might be free to pursue the ‘unfinished’ geo-political objectives that their predecessors failed to achieve despite the commission of mass atrocities. If, for example, the crimes did not lead to political and military success, the post-conflict elites might still be pursuing unfulfilled goals.
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