German Federal Constitutional Court and Bosnian War Crimes: Liberalizing Germany's Genocide Jurisprudence
German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 44, p. 576, 2002
38 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2012
Date Written: 2002
On 12 December, 2000, the Fourth Chamber of the Second Senate of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court) issued its opinion following its review, for constitutional error, of the conviction of a Bosnian Serb who had been convicted by the German ordinary courts of a broad range of crimes including, most notably, genocide. In refusing to admit the case for consideration by the full Senate, the Chamber marked out new boundaries for the international crime of genocide as it has been codified, interpreted and applied by Germany.
Section B of this paper provides a summary of the (I) procedural and (II) factual background of the case. Section C describes the decision’s innovations, including: (I) its recognition of the applicability of universal jurisdiction to genocide along with the loosening of the German doctrine regarding universal jurisdiction; and (II) its broad interpretation of the intent to destroy requirement of the crime of genocide, finding that the required intent to destroy is not limited to the intent to physically or biologically destroy a protected group.
Keywords: International Law, Transnational Law, Criminal Law
JEL Classification: K10, K33, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation