Bosnia and Herzegovina
Practice Relating to Rule 52. Pillage
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), pillage is a war crime.
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 “pillaging” against civilians, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime.
The Criminal Code also states:
(1) Whoever in time of war or armed conflict orders the violation of laws and practices of warfare, or whoever violates them,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years or long-term imprisonment.
(2) Violations of laws and practices of warfare referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall include:
e) Plundering and looting of public and private property.
According to the Report on the Practice of the Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina), in the context of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, members of the Bosnian Serb Army were convicted of robbery by military courts. For example, four members of the Bosnian Serb Army were sentenced to imprisonment for breaking in and robbing non-Serb civilians by the Court of First Instance in Banja Luka in 1994. The report notes that the accused were charged with the offence of robbery, not looting, since looting was not a separate criminal offence under the applicable penal law.