OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Who Has the Right to Protect Human Rights: Case Study of UN's Involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina with International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia

TitleWho Has the Right to Protect Human Rights: Case Study of UN's Involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina with International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsKoon, Michelle
Academic DepartmentPolitical Science
Thesis AdvisorHenderson, Sarah L.
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Political Science
Number of Pages38
Date Published2001
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordscriminal tribunal, Human Rights, United Nations, Yugoslavia
Abstract

Is the UN effective in resolving issues of human rights violations? In particular, is its use of a temporary international criminal tribunal in the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia an effective tool in resolving issues of human rights violations? I focus on the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where terrible violations of laws of war and human rights occurred in the 1990's. I have found that the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) has had some impressive successes due to the strong leadership of its Chief Prosecutor. However, the tribunal's effectiveness has been hampered by problems of custody of criminals, lack of resources, and dependence on cooperation from uncooperative states and NATO. These problems are part of the larger issues of state sovereignty, national interests, and balance of power that are barriers to its effectiveness.
The UN's use of the ICTY has been an example of the UN's growing and changing role that states are not ready for. The ICTY has struggled with problems resulting from die hard views of state sovereignty and national interests held by states. These views have had a detrimental effect on the UN's position in the balance of power, thereby reducing its effectiveness in resolving human rights violations issues. For the UN effective in its larger, more active role, states need to change ideas of state and national interests.