Dayton, Bosnia, and the Limits of Law

The Dayton Accord presumes that the UNSC has the legal authority to act in cases of internal conflict and that the international legal order of separate states allows a community of nations to enforce international law.

Issue: Winter 1996-1997

In an attempt to create an American-style, multi-ethnic democracy in the Bosnia-Herzegovinian rump of the formerly multi-ethnic dictatorship of Yugoslavia, American negotiators brokered a complex series of formal undertakings known collectively as the Dayton Accord. This Accord was initialed by representatives of the Muslim-dominated Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose authority is rejected by its Serbian minority; by the Serb-dominated Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which denies that it is involved in the Serb resistance to the nominal government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but which was authorized by the leaders of that resistance to speak for them; by the Republic of Croatia; by a representative of the European Union; by the United States; and-apparently redundantly since they are members of the European Union-by France and the United Kingdom as well.

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