No better alternative

The arrest of Ratko Mladic brings forward the prospects for Serbia's closer integration with the rest of Europe and also focuses our attention on the role and legitimacy of the International Criminal Court.

There are reasons to be sceptical about the ICC: it is a slow process bringing war criminals to justice and many feel that individuals like Slobodan Milosevic - who died in custody - and Radovan Karadzic - whose case is slowly winding itself through the court - have been able to play the court's procedures to their own advantage.

There are other concerns about the ICC too.  The decisions on who to indict and when are inherently political.  All wars involve the suffering of innocent civilians, but few would argue for all leaders of countries that go to war to be indicted.  There is a legitimate feeling that the winners in conflicts escape the attentions of the judicial process.

For all that, the ICC is slowly but surely bringing to justice some of the worst war criminals and abusers of human rights we have seen in recent decades.  Mladic led an army that committed some of the worst crimes against humanity seen in modern times.  If the ICC were not seen to work, the world would have lost an opportunity to see justice done