This case summary is part of a collection of summaries describing the cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). See the Online Resource Hub pages on the ICTY and International Criminal Law, and the table of ICTY case summaries for additional information.


Karadžić (IT-95-5/18) (MICT case page)

Trial Judgment: 24 March 2016; Appeal Judgment: 11 July 2013; MICT Appeal Judgment: 20 March 2019

Radovan Karadžić, a founding member and president of the SDS and later President of the Republika Srpska and Supreme Commander of its armed forces, stood trial for allegedly having planned, instigated, ordered, committed otherwise aided and abetted the commission of crimes against Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats, and other non-Serbs including the removal of non-Serbs from Bosnian Serb claimed territory through the use of force, terror, persecutions and forced transfer; the genocide of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica through the forced deportation and transfer of Bosniak women and children, forced separation of Bosniak men, and execution of Bosniak men; and the establishment of persecutions against non-Serb populations, including through forced labor, rape and sexual violence, cruel treatment, summary executions, unlawful detention, and inhumane treatment. The prosecution accused him of membership in a joint criminal enterprise and individual and superior criminal responsibility for genocide in the municipalities and in Srebrenica; crimes against humanity for persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, and inhumane acts; and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder, acts of violence with the primary purpose to spread terror, unlawful attacks on civilians, and taking of hostages.

In 2016, the ICTY Trial Chamber convicted Karadžić on the basis of individual criminal responsibility of genocide in Srebrenica; crimes against humanity for persecutions, extermination, murder, deportation, and forcible transfer; and of violations of the laws or customs of war for murder, terror, unlawful attacks on civilians, and hostage taking. The Trial Chamber sentenced Karadžić to 40 years’ imprisonment.

Following Karadžić’s appeal, his case was transferred to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT), where the Appeals Chamber in 2019 largely confirmed his conviction, including on the charge of genocide for the massacre in Srebrenica, and increased his sentence to life imprisonment.