Zvonko Bogdan: Ponos Vojvođana i Vojvodine meta velikosrbijanskog ološa
by Eric Gordy
As you already know, the release of a semiprivate letter by ICTY judge Frederik Harhoff last week set off quite astorm. First of all it came on the heels of exasperation after one more round of surprise acquittals. Second, it added an inside source to the years of speculation about whether disillusion inside the Tribunal approached the level of disillusion outside it. Third, it came at a time when events like the “Bebolucija” in Bosnia-Hercegovina suggested that citizens were getting a little more sick than usual of the useless nationalist politicians they have been instructed that they have to live with. But all of these facts have to do with things like justice, peace, reconciliation, the lives of victims, ordinary people living in the region. Nothing that international elites are likely to get too excited about.
by Eric Gordy
So where do professional goals and practices in international law intersect with efforts to provide legal protection to victims of conflict-related violence? You might think it is a silly question: don’t all practitioners in international law share the goal of providing the protection of international law? The ultraquick answer is no, they do not all have the same orientations, the same sympathies, or the same employers. Some of them want to establish and expand legal protection and some want to limit it.
Since these two groups are fundamentally opposed in terms of what they are trying to achieve, it is not too surprising that they should frequently try to discredit one another. It’s not much of a challenge to discredit projects that have the mission of exempting violence from legal oversight, of course. But what about the other side? Well, what if you were given the opportunity to argue that people interested in protecting civilians while you are fighting are strategic tools of the enemy? The opportunity has been provided, and it traces its origins to the effort of right-wingers to redefine the world after the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York.