University of Illinois College of Law, Women’s Law Symposium, March 9, 2016
The author won two Orders from the International Court of Justice overwhelmingly in favor of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina against Yugoslavia to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention on April 8, 1993 and September 13, 1993. This was the first time ever that any Government or Lawyer had won two such Orders in one case since the World Court was founded in 1921. And on August 5, 1993, he also won an Article 74(4) Order from the World Court to the same effect. Under Article 74(4) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, when the Full Court is not in Session, the President of the Court exercises the Full Powers of the Court and can issue an Order that is binding upon the states parties in a case. The story is told in his book The Bosnian People Charge Genocide! (Aletheia Press: 1996).
I want to express my gratitude to the Women’s Law Society for asking me to speak here today and especially in honor of International Women’s Day. The WLS organizers asked me to talk about a problem related to women and human rights. Over my career since coming here in 1978 — both practicing and teaching international human rights law — the most daunting problem I ever confronted was being the Lawyer for all the raped women of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was the Attorney of Record for at least 20,000+ raped women of Bosnia before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the World Court of the United Nations System. All 20,000+ of these raped Bosnian women were my Clients. I had originally figured 20,000 was a gross underestimate since rape is always underreported — especially during war time. When the war and the genocide were over, the United Nations got into Bosnia in order to investigate. I have read that the current U.N. estimate is that about 40,000 Bosnian Muslim women were raped during that war and genocide.