THROUGHOUT the brutal wars that tore apart the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Vojislav Seselj was a leading proponent of ethnic cleansing. An ultra-nationalist backer of a Greater Serbia, who recruited an infamously cruel and thuggish militia to help create it, for the past seven years Mr Seselj has been on trial for war crimes before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. On March 31st, the tribunal found Mr Seselj innocent on all charges. The verdict came one week after the same tribunal convicted Radovan Karadzic, the wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs, on charges of murder, extermination and genocide. The Seselj verdict has sent shock waves through the Balkans. The judges’ reasoning may have broad ramifications for international justice.