Bosnia and Herzegovina
Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack on a civilian population … [or] individual civilians”.
The Republika Srpska’s Criminal Code (2000) contains the same provision.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states that, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, ordering or committing an “[a]ttack on the civilian population … [or] individual civilians”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime.
In 2007, in the Lučić case
, the Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina stated: “Each attack against the other [side’s] civilian population would be … illegitimate”.
In 2007, in the Janković case
, the Appellate Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina stated that “any attack against the civilian population of the other side would be … unlawful”.
The Report on the Practice of Bosnia and Herzegovina provides the following examples of alleged violations of the prohibition of attacks on civilians which were denounced by the authorities: the artillery shelling in the centre of Srebrenica, which resulted in civilian casualties;
the shelling of Goražde;
the attack on the village of Pripečak, in which several civilians were killed or wounded;
and the attacks by Yugoslav aircraft in the Tuzla region, in which many residential facilities were destroyed and several civilians killed or wounded.