Isabel Tscherniak

Dear Participants of the ICJ, Particularly for first-timers, serving in the International Court of Justice can be a daunting task. The procedure and goals pursued in the ICJ are different from the other committees. This difference, however, offers new opportunities to learn about international law and policies. The ICJ consists of a panel of neutral judges and four advocates representing two countries. Whether you will be attending this conference as a judge or an advocate, passion for the truth, an open mind, and a willingness to learn will make this an engaging and valuable experience. We will be examining the case Croatia v. Serbia. Croatia filed an application to the International Court of Justice in 1999, accusing Serbia of committing genocide in Croatian territories and breaching international law by violating the  “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”. The violations in this case occurred during The Yugoslav Wars between 1991-1999, after the break-up of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia resulted from a shift in the world order after the fall of the USSR. The origin of the conflict stemmed from the cessation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. The lack of cooperation and diplomacy between the individual states and the increase of hostilities through the use of propaganda promoting Serb nationalism and xenophobia toward the other ethnicities in Yugoslavia led to human rights abuses and possible breaches in international laws. I am currently an 11th grader at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin.  In addition to learning and deliberating about international law and politics, I enjoy playing cello, doing martial arts and reading. MUN, specifically the ICJ, has become an integral part of my life. At the last two BERMUN conferences, I have had the privilege of serving as the Registrar and then the President of the ICJ respectively. I am delighted to once again welcome you as the President of the ICJ to this year’s annual BERMUN conference. I look forward to meeting you at the conference! Sincerely, Isabel Tscherniak