Serbia’s 'judicial non-compliance’ and genocide denial are a threat to international justice, the UK says.

Genocide denial and faltering state cooperation threaten the work and legacy of key UN courts at The Hague, the UK mission to the UN has warned.

Helen Mulvein, legal counsellor at the UK Mission to the United Nations, expressed her fears in response to a report and presentation from the presidents of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and ‘Mechanism’ tribunal which will deal with legacy cases and appeals when the Yugoslav tribunal is would up next year.

On a key outstanding case involving witness intimidation in Serbia, Mulvein said: ‘The UK is very concerned that - over two years on - the arrest warrants for the three individuals in the Jojic et al contempt case have still not been executed.’

She added: ‘We strongly urge Serbia to cooperate fully with the ICTY in all respects, including complying with its international obligations in this matter. Failure to do so risks undermining central principles of international justice and the rule of law by allowing those suspected of interfering with witnesses to avoid accountability.’

The UK, Mulvein said, was ‘troubled’ by the prosecutor’s report for the tribunal that ‘regional judicial cooperation is moving in the wrong direction’. At threat was the investigation and prosecution of ‘the most serious crimes of international concern’.

She added: ‘We are also deeply disturbed by the prosecutor’s reports, both for the ICTY and the Mechanism, of denial of crimes – in particular genocide – and revisionism. If such crimes are to be prevented in future, it is essential to accept the ICTY and Mechanism’s findings and rulings on the tragic events of the not-so-distant past.’