This chapter demonstrates that the destruction of the human body is the proof of the perpetration of mass violence. The human body and the fate inflicted on it are absent from the definition of the crime of persecution, which directly concerns the treatment of the body before death, the victimized individual being expelled from both the social and the living spheres. The definition of a crime against humanity protects 'any civilian population', while that of genocide refers to the victim 'group'. The contemporary definition of crimes against humanity, as enshrined in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court mentions neither human dignity nor the human body as such. If 'physical integrity' and 'body' reflect the reality, the legal norm does not go much further in the perception of the human body, thus neglecting both the significance of the body in the criminal modus operandi and its evidentiary value.
The Tomašica mass grave and the trial of Ratko Mladić
This article focuses on the judicial consideration of the scientific analysis of the Tomašica mass grave, in the Prijedor municipality of Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Often referred to as the largest mass grave in Europe since the Second World War, this grave was fully discovered in September 2013 and the scientific evidence gathered was included in the prosecution of Ratko Mladić before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Based on the exhaustive analysis of all the publicly available trial transcripts, this article presents how the Tomašica evidence proved symptomatic of the way in which forensic sciences and international criminal justice intertwine and of the impact of the former over the latter on the admissibility of evidence, the conduct of proceedings and the qualification of the crimes perpetrated.