National Implementation of IHL
  • Print page
  • Disclaimer
Pincic case, Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 28 November 2008
Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (last accessed on 23.09.2013)

On 28 November 2008 the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Section I for War Crimes, found the accused – a member of the Croat Defence Council (HVO) in the capacity of a Secretary of Hrasnica HVO – guilty of "crimes against civilians" committed against Serb civilians in the municipality Konjic from November 1992 to March 1993. Mr. Pincic was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment.

The Court ruled that the accused, acting contrary to the rules of international humanitarian law, violated Article 3 (1)(a) and (c) and Article 27 (2) of the 4th Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, and Article 173 (1) (e) of the Criminal Code of BiH, by coercing another person to sexual intercourse by threat of immediate direct attack upon her limb. The charge also referred to Article 180 (1) of the code, on individual criminal responsibility.

The Court also found that the applicability of the Criminal Code and its system of penalties - although adopted after the commission of the crimes – did not violate the principle of legality. As with other similar cases, the Court based its decision on the fact that the crime for which the accused was found guilty constitutes a crime under international customary law and thus would fall under the wording "general principles of international law" found in Article 4a of the Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of BiH. Further the Court pointed out that the customary status of criminal responsibility for war crimes against civilians and individual responsibility for war crimes committed in 1992 was recognised by reports from the UN Secretary General and the International Law Commission as well as ICTY and ICTR jurisprudence. In its view, these institutions have established that criminal responsibility for war crimes against civilians constitutes a peremptory norm of international law or jus cogens

File TypeSizeFile Name
application/pdf 397 KB Pincic case - Decision of 28 November 2008.pdf