This contribution explores Croatian cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with a special focus on the post-Tuđman Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska demokratska zajednica, HDZ) under Ivo Sanader and Jadranka Kosor. Ever since Croatia’s first post-communist elections in 1990, the HDZ has remained Croatia’s largest parliamentary political party and only found itself in opposition from 2000 to 2003. As such, the HDZ provides an opportunity to examine elements of continuity and change in Croatia-ICTY relations during the Tuđman and post-Tuđman years that illuminate Croatia’s strategic compliance with ICTY requests and orders. In the case of post-Tuđman HDZ led governments, legalistic engagement with the ICTY was framed as consistent with the party’s attempt to defend the governing party’s jus ad bellum understanding of the 1991-1995 war in Croatia, known domestically as the Homeland War. Strategic compliance permitted Zagreb to pursue legalistic strategies of defiance within ICTY institutions, which limited Croatia’s exposure to third party sanction.
- international justice
- party politics