The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN's highest legal body, Wednesday dismissed cases filed by Serbia and Montenegro accusing eight NATO members of genocide during the alliance's 1999 bombings of Kosovo.
NATO bombed Belgrade in 1999
The court ruled that Belgrade's claims against NATO members Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Britain should be rejected because Serbia and Montenegro was not a member of the United Nations at the time the complaint was filed
in April 1999.
Judges of the International Court of Justice in The Hague
"The court concludes that at the time of filing of the application of the present procedings ... Serbia and Montenegro was not a member of the United Nations and was not on that basis a state party to the ICJ," presiding judge Shi Jiuyong said.
The 15-judge panel reached their decision unanimously. The ICJ can only rule on disputes between UN member states, unless they have signed conventions giving the court jurisdiction or two states agree to let the court consider its dispute or if the UN Security Council refers a case for an advisory opinion.