Tu quoque

Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 08.10.2008 MARTIĆ Milan
(IT-95-11-A)

Martić claimed that his actions were in response to persecution of the Serb population by the Croatian authorities.  Accordingly, he submitted defences of reciprocity or tu quoque; reprisal; and self-defence.

The Appeals Chamber held that reciprocity or tu quoque could not be used to justify a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

109. Martić argues that Serbs in SAO Krajina, for historical reasons, had a right to claim self-determination in accordance with international law and that instead of being able to exercise this right, they ended up being persecuted by the Croatian authorities in the 1990s in a way similar to the persecutions and massacres of Serbs by Croats during the 1940s.[1]

[…]

111. To the extent that Martić’s argument is an attempt to plead a defence of tu quoque, i.e., to plead that the acts for which he was found responsible should not be considered criminal because they were in response to crimes committed against him and his people, it must be rejected. It is well established in the jurisprudence of the Tribunal that arguments based on reciprocity, including the tu quoque argument, are no defence to serious violations of international humanitarian law.[2]

[1] Defence Appeal Brief, paras 80-85 and 91. See also AT. 41-42.

[2] See, for example, Kupreškić et al. Trial Judgement, paras 515-520, as confirmed by Kupreškić et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 25.

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Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 12.11.2009 MILOŠEVIĆ Dragomir
(IT-98-29/1-A)

250. […] Moreover, with respect to Milošević’s allegation that the bombing was “a legal response to ABiH attacks”, the Appeals Chamber re-emphasizes that reciprocity or tu quoque defence may not be used to justify a serious violation of international humanitarian law.[1]

[1] Martić Appeal Judgement, para. 111; Kupreškić et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 25.

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