Genocide

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Genocide

Genocide as an U.S. State Statute Topic

This term is one of the topics in some U.S. State Statutes. Other topics of the World Encyclopedia of Law which are topics of some State Statures are:

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Genocide: Genocide and International Law

Introduction to Genocide

In 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) passed an act called the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, also known as the Genocide Convention. This act, which took effect in 1951, provided a legal definition of genocide and established genocide as a crime under international law. According to the Genocide Convention, any of the following actions, when committed with the intent to eliminate a particular national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, constitutes genocide: (1) killing members of the group, (2) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, (3) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to kill, (4) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and (5) forcibly transferring children out of a group.

In the 1990s the UN began an effort to prosecute cases of genocide. In 1993 the UN established an international tribunal to investigate and prosecute people involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the former Yugoslavia. In late 1994 the UN established a similar tribunal to investigate war crimes in Rwanda. These trials, the first international war crimes trials since those that followed World War II, were the first attempts to prosecute individuals under the Genocide Convention. In 1998 the Rwanda tribunal convicted three men, including former Rwandan prime minister Jean Kambanda, of genocide. The convictions marked the first time an international court found individuals guilty of the crime of genocide.

In 1998 UN delegates adopted a statute approving a permanent International Criminal Court to try individuals accused of genocide and other serious violations of international criminal law. The court came into being on July 1, 2002, after 60 countries ratified the statute. Headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, the court will replace ad hoc tribunals such as those created for the conflicts in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. ” (1)

Concept of Genocide

Genocide may be defined as: Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.(1)

Definition of Genocide

Within the context of international human rights, the following is a brief meaning of genocide: The systematic killing of people because of their race or ethnicity.

Genocide

Embracing mainstream international law, this section on genocide explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.See more related entries to Genocide in this legal encyclopedia.

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See Also

  • Social Problem
  • Crime
  • Delinquency
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Delinquent
  • Social Issues
  • Crime Prevention

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Further Reading

  • The entry “genocide” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press

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See Also

  • Human Rights

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Notes

  1. From Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948.

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Notes and References

Guide to Genocide

Definition of Genocide

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Genocide :

Conduct aimed at the destruction of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. Genocide, as defined in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948, includes not only killing members of the group, but also causing them serious physical or psychological harm, imposing conditions of life that are intended to destroy them physically or measures intended to prevent childbirth, or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group, if these acts are carried out with the intention of destroying the group as a whole or in part. Destruction of a cultural or political group does not amount to genocide. The Genocide Convention 1948 declares that genocide is an international crime; the parties to the Convention undertake to punish not only acts of genocide committed within their jurisdiction but also complicity in genocide and conspiracy, incitement, and attempts to commit genocide. The Convention has been enacted into English law by the Genocide Act 1969. It is generally considered that the Convention embodies principles of customary international law that bind all nations, including those that are not parties to the Convention

See also war crimes; humanitarian interventio

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