The Dayton Peace Agreement: short-term redemption or long-term tragedy?
: A study concerning the (in)validity of an international treaty

  • A. Pervan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The Dayton Peace Agreement ended a nearly four-year armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the whole armed conflict, a de facto regime i.e., Republika Srpska existed on the territory of the State. On the territory it effectively controlled, the most grave atrocities were committed in a systematic campaign, called ‘ethnic cleansing’. This led to the commitment of many crimes such as, genocide, crimes against humanity, breaches of international humanitarian law etc. for which many high-ranked officials of the RS were convicted by (inter)national tribunals. Tragically, this was rewarded through legalising the de facto regime into a de jure entity within the peace treaty. The aforementioned atrocities are recognised as jus cogens, i.e., peremptory norms of international law which are non-derogable and ensure that treaties that conflict with them are null and void on the basis of article 53 VCLT. In this thesis we have argued that, on the basis of the burden of proof we provided, this international treaty is null and void in its very substance.
Date of Award5 Apr 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Public Law
SupervisorGleider Hernández (Supervisor) & Eduardo Arenas Catalán (Examiner)


  • Bosnia and Herzegovia
  • Dayton Peace Agreement
  • Jus Cogens
  • Genocide
  • Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Master's Degree

  • Master Rechtsgeleerdheid

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