Look Who Is Digging Theodor Meron’s Grave!

Theodor Meron, President of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Theodor Meron, President of International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Have just discovered that Stjepan Mesic (die-hard Communist in mind and heart, former president of Croatia, who was the apparent ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte’s “best boy” for political maneuvering of ICTY indictments that would equate the aggressor with the victim in 1990’s Serb war of aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at any price – even lies and confabulations that would blacken and attempt to degrade the righteousness of Croatian citizens’ right to defend their lives and homes from aggression) and his cronies (such as Budimir Loncar/former advisor to Mesic and current advisor to president Ivo Josipovic  – but with a disturbing history in the notorious former communist police OZNA, which ordered multitudes of murders of innocent people during Tito’s Yugoslavia) are behind the “ifimes” (International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies) which has recently published a malicious article “ICTY: ‘Meronization’ of our future”. Stjepan Mesic is listed as Honorary President of staff of ifimes!

Of course, it’s as clear as day: this group of individuals, with this article, are telling the world that if we do not question the ICTY judgments brought down by Judge Theodor Meron, President of ICTY, (especially regarding the acquittals of Ante Gotovina, Mladen Markac and Momcilo Perisic) then there is no real justice!

The problem with this group’s reasoning is that they do not appear to uphold as paramount the appellate court’s responsibility of weighing the evidence and decisions made by lower courts, that they contradict themselves as they strongly suggest ICTY judges must consider political implications and consequences of their judgments, and at the same time that judges must not be political!

Lord, save the humanity from this lot!

They definitely appear to be subscribed to the trends started under Carla del Ponte, as Chief Prosecutor, under Judge Fausto Pocar as ICTY President (who, by the way had a dissenting opinion to the majority one in the 16 November 2012 ICTY Acquittal judgment for Croatian Generals) when the politics of equating the victim with the aggressor was painfully obvious and “order of the day at the ICTY”.

It seems that Meron, by weighing evidence before him with fresh and non-political eyes (as Appeal courts should and have the duty to do) has ruffled the feathers of those who consider cold evidence and interpretation of it less important than political agendas between nations, particularly of, say, the aggressor such as Serbia was against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990’s. So, those who did not like the way ICTY judgments were delivered by Meron started a new trend of labeling him with the sins they themselves subscribed to: political court judgments. This so reminds me of the horrible days under Communism – attack becoming the tool of defence!

This “ifimes” group has the gall to say that Meron is the one who “has definitely marked ICTY as a political court and Theodor Meron as its gravedigger and the executioner of anticipated international justice”.

And yet, just before they wrote this disgraceful sentence they wrote that Meron  “should have examined all the possible implications of the partial acquittal in the Karadzic case as well as a series of other issues that have appeared in the final stage of ICTY’s work”.

Now, why should a judge examine all possible implications of his judgment!? Implications of a decision should not and must not influence the making of a decision that is based on evidence and the weighing of evidence with view to the actual alleged criminal offence.

So, “ifimes”  group criticise Meron as being political on the one hand and on the other they criticize him for not using politics in bringing decisions in court!

Furthermore, the group admits that Serge Brammertz, ICTY Chief Prosecutor who seems to follow Carla del Ponte’s political lines of equating aggressor with the victim at any cost, is in conflict with Meron. In “conflict between two concepts and two civilisational approaches to resolving international relations: the conservative and anticivilisational concept represented by ICTY President Theodor Meron and the positive and realistic concept represented by ICTY Chief Prosecutor Serge Bramemertz”.

Can you believe this rot of humanity “ifimes” is peddling!?

The world does not need such transgressions of democracy, human moral code and real justice that Majority Opinion brings to the table as accepted and final judgment in a court case.

For them the Majority Opinion (led by Judge Meron) is conservative and anti-civilisational and the politically driven bias (even with highly suspect testimonies that, if tested, could amount to perjury)  Brammetrz appeared as having continued with after Carla del Ponte, is considered by them as positive and realistic!

And now we come to the real motive behind this atrociously biased and political, but insidious article from “ifimes” (Stjepan Mesic  & Co.):

The IFIMES International Institute is of the opinion that the announced discussion on the activities of ICTY which will take place at the UN General Assembly on 10 April 2013 should focus on strengthening international law and protecting the victims of past and future crimes rather than serving individuals and countries whose aim is to (mis)use the international legal system for their own interests”. Or, in other words, let the UN General Assembly debate on 10 April 2013 be the platform where Serbia will receive legitimacy for its rejection of ICTY judgments (as Vuk Jeremic had expressed publicly during past months) and for its relentless politics of justifying the horror its aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had set in motion.

As I said in one of my previous posts, and in my letters to various heads of UN member states – there is a realistic and immediate danger that the UN General Assembly debate on 10 April WILL NOT BE PROTECTING ALL THE VICTIMS, WILL NOT BE AN UNBIASLY LED DEBATE UNLESS IT IS COORDINATED AND FACILITATED BY A FULLY INDEPENDENT GROUP OF PEOPLE.

With such importance being given to “dissenting opinions” as opposed to “majority opinions”, which define the final judgment of a court, let’s not be surprised if we enter a future (after April 10) where the courts will no longer be fully independent of politics, where majority opinion will mean squat, where appellate courts will cease to function, where people can take as valid whatever judgment they want – from majority or minority – where the rule of law, accepted legal standards and democracy (which includes accepting the majority opinion or vote with due grace and humility) will become just a footnote in history books.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Theodor Meron on BBC HARDtalk, March 2013 “…Criminal court must not have a broader agenda … we would not be doing our job if we are guided by how people, nations, community will react to judgments… reconciliation is up to the people … not the court…”. Hear! Hear!

Shame file: UK Foreign Office indulges Croatia’s judiciary reform into politics

To have one’s “day in court” is one of the major backbones of democracy. Courts of law have been and are seen as purveyors of ultimate justice, although often the justice purveyed is not seen as justice done by people at large. Nevertheless, we are brought up to respect and accept judgments delivered in courts of law.

Exiting from the communist Yugoslavia in early 1990’s Croatia needed to weed out practices in the appalling and biased judicial system inherited, if it wanted to become a true democracy.

Indeed, judicial reforms are one of the areas identified in the EU Accession Treaty for EU monitoring until July 2013 and Croatia must deliver if it’s to become a member nation of the EU.

At this point in time it cannot be said that there has been no progress in Croatia’s judiciary reforms, because good progress has been recognised and acknowledged; that’s one of the reasons why Croatia got to sign the EU Accession Treaty in December 2011.

According to the current data from Croatia’s Supreme Court and as published by HRSvijet portal, “there are thousands of court proceedings that have been open for at least a decade, and at the beginning of 2012 the Municipal courts in Croatia had 15,894 civil and 98 criminal unfinished proceedings that are more than ten years old.  At the same time, the District courts had 6,682 civil and 40 criminal cases, which means that there were (at the beginning of 2012) 22,714 unsolved court cases older than ten years”.

Croatia will undoubtedly in the very near future be served with a “final” appraisal of its judiciary reforms as July 2013 approaches. Surely, the above unacceptable situation with long-standing unsolved court cases cannot receive a passing mark or commendation.

So where is the progress EU applauded in the last half of 2012? Certainly, the citizens involved with the unsolved cases cannot be satisfied. The progress is obviously political, coupled with enactment of some legislation to EU standards. But these alone cannot be called full progress because legislative progress has not translated into the grassroots, where it counts: “a day in court”. And, spinning out of political issues has done judicial reforms no favours.

British Foreign Office boasts of success in being the major player in Croatia’s judicial reforms during the past years, according to HRSvijet portal.

In 2007 the UK-Croatia Strategic Partnership was signed and its main task was that the British Foreign Office professionals would act as “mentors” and work on Croatia’s judicial reforms. Undoubtedly funds for this mammoth task were and are substantial and lots of British professionals are on a good wicket. While professional services need to be paid for one can only hope that the professionals (UK Foreign Office) will also get to share the blame if Croatian judicial reforms don’t deliver what they’re supposed to.

UK Parliament Hansard from May 2008 records the answer to the question; what the UK/Croatia Strategic Partnership has achieved so far? Lord Malloch-Brown (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Labour) replied:

The UK/Croatia strategic partnership is delivering in many key areas. Among other projects, the UK has supported the development of alternative dispute resolution in the Croatian courts helping to reduce case backlogs and speed citizens’ access to justice. There has been a wide programme of scholars visiting the UK, many with funds matched by host institutions or Croatian ministries. A UK anti-corruption adviser has provided legal and practical advice to the Ministry of Justice, towards meeting the requirements of the accession process…

Agencia consultancy in the UK, is the body registered on UK Government buying solutions, through which much of the professional work within the UK/Croatia Strategic Partnership is done. UK Foreign Office is therefore accountable for the work done to “help” Croatia achieving acceptable judicial reforms.

HRSvijet writes that the UK Foreign Office maintains that British pressure on “promoting independent judiciary and basic rights has helped Croatia to achieve a significant progress in judicial reforms. In line with this measures to increase tolerance in society towards reconciliation of ethnic groups have been introduced”, and that the UK Foreign Office is currently working on lifting the conscience and tutoring the Croatian police in “recognizing hate crimes”.

There’s no doubt that the British role and pressure in reforming Croatia’s judiciary has less to do with actual and practical reforms on the ground – in reducing court case backlogs by helping establish effective processes and procedures – than with politics. While ethnic group reconciliation is a goal well worth achieving I don’t think Britain can be any kind of a mentor and teacher for Croatia. After all, Britain’s ethnic bag is perhaps more mixed and “volatile” than Croatia’s.

Equating the victim with the aggressor in relation to the Croatia’s Homeland War has seen many pressures for ethnic reconciliation as “dictated” to Croatia by the European community and Britain had been a loud participant in this. The fact is that only the people directly involved with the process of reconciliation know best how to achieve such a goal and foreign interference in this is purely political and may often retard the process.

It is essential that the courts, the judiciary, not be drawn into direct political controversy or political fray around a nation. Mechanisms for ethnic group reconciliation when it comes to Croatia are a political controversy that must not be brought into judicial review. The only time ethnic intolerance can be addressed by the judiciary would be if and when an individual (or group) wrong is done and is brought before the courts. And at that time decisions must be made in line with the law – not politics. Judiciary is, after all, the administration of law and justice.While ethnic reconciliation can be subject to legislative processes, which are often coloured by politics, the actual administration of justice must be separated from legislative processes.

It is central to every democratic society, to its stability, and to its purpose, that the courts remain above and beyond any political fray.

Indeed the British court process has been carefully structured through the centuries. It has been designed to keep the judiciary outside the disputation of politics.

If the courts/judiciary become subject to political pressures then the court becomes the plaything of politics in a way that diminishes the court and respect for the courts.

Knowing this fully well one cannot but condemn the UK Foreign Office attempts to indulge Croatian judiciary into politics. It’s appalling.

Furthermore, I don’t think that Croatian police needs lessons in recognising hate crimes – one only needs to look at the Serbian aggression against Croatia in the early 1990’s to simply know that Croatia’s exposure to hate crimes had been overwhelming. They know it well and have behaved exceptionally well and honourably in the face of it.

It’s beyond me to understand why Croatia agreed to enter into the UK/Croatia Strategic Partnership in 2007 when there are multitudes of consultants around the world who could have done a better job in helping Croatia reform its judiciary, without bringing politics into it. But then again, Britain had voiced staunch opposition to Croatia becoming EU member during 2000’s, often halting Croatia’s EU accession negotiations. Most likely then, it  served some logic to “employ” Britain to “sort out” the mess in Croatia’s judiciary so Croatia could meet the standards sought?

Croatia, though, needs to recognise that national politics are not part of the judiciary as it operates in its courts. Courts must be independent of politics and the sooner Croatia puts its foot down on the British political indulgence in its judicial reforms, reduces the amount of funding reserved to pay foreign consultants for judicial review and uses that money to employ more staff in courts and gets down to the business of monitoring and clearing the case backlogs in courts the more democratic and judicially reformed it will be. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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