The term genocide comes from the Greek word genos which means race or tribe and the Latin word cide which means killing. The word genocide only appeared in the indictment for the Nuremberg trail, and neither in its Charter nor its judgment. For this trial, the crime of genocide has actually been prosecuted as a part of Crime against Humanity. It acquired autonomous significance as a specific crime in 1948, when the UNGA adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 (hereinafter "the Convention"). In the first part, I will describe the textual definition of Genocide and its most obvious gaps, which imposed a wide interpretation by jurisdictions (I). In a second part, I will show how the text needs an interpretation to enable some prosecutions for Genocide (II). As I conclude, I will explain why it appears necessary to draft another Genocide Convention (III).
[...] It appears therefore that non Member States of the Convention are more widely linked by the norm of jus cogens than the Member States of the Convention itself. Isn't it the perfect demonstration of the poor standard of the Convention? Antonio CASSESE International Criminal Law, Oxford Edition page 103 However, even these definitions are unsatisfactory. It seems really difficult to distinguish between national, racial, and ethnical. Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-T, ICTR T. Ch. I Sept para 512 Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, Case No. [...]
[...] We actually need another convention, with an open list of acts, of victims and a clearer definition of the intent required. BIBLIOGRAPHY Henry J. STEINER and Philip ALSTON. International Human Rights in context, Oxford 2nd Edition. Pages 354-357, 366-371, 382- 445- 509 and 552-553. Kriangsak KITTICHAISAREE International Criminal Law, Oxford Edition Antonio CASSESE International Criminal Law, Oxford Edition Beth Van SCHAACK The Crime of political genocide : repairing the Genocide Convention's blind spot. In Yale Law Journal, May 1997, page 2259. [...]
[...] The victim is perceived by the perpetrator of genocide as belonging to a group slated for destruction. In some instances, the victim may perceive himself/herself as belonging to the said group.” Thus, such a crime can only be constituted by “Killing members of the groups, Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the groups, Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in parts, Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”. [...]
[...] Conclusion This paper intended to show the inability of the Genocide Convention to give a clear and usable definition of this crime. The text of this convention is so vague that jurisdictions are enabled to give a common interpretation, carrying a legal security in the Genocide's prosecutions. The gaps of the text enable authors of this crime to avoid their responsibility. This is a terrible reality for the victims, as they are therefore denied in the recognition of their suffering. [...]
[...] Is the Un Genocide convention an effective instrument? SUMMARY OF CONTENTS Is the Un Genocide convention an effective instrument? 1 I. Introduction 2 II. A too narrow textual definition of Genocide 3 A. The restriction of the groups potentially victim The four groups potentially victim The groups excluded by the Convention The membership's question 4 B. The limited enumeration of prohibited acts 5 C. The specific intent : to destroy in whole or in part The intent of destruction whole or in part” 6 III. [...]
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