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Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Political Science January 10th, 2011.
Reading: Kuperman, Rwanda in Retrospect, pp.94-118
Genocide is committed with intent to destroy, in whole, or in par, a national, ethnical,
racial, or religious group
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
Genocide occurs by:
Killing member 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
Forcibly transferring children of one group to another group
Acts directed against political groups are excluded from the definition of
Crimes Against Humanity
The Charter of the International Military Tribunal, passed in 1945, described these
atrocities as customary international crimes that justify international criminal sanctions
2. War crimes, or violations of the laws and customs of war namely:
Deportation for slave labour or for any other purpose of the civilian population of
or in occupied territory
Differences between War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
One instance of a reprehensible act could be a war crime, but not a crime against
humanity. The latter must be shown to have resulted from widespread and
systematic policy
Also crimes against humanity (e.g. destruction of property and systematic
persecution) can occur in any setting, while a war crimes takes place only during
The objection most frequently raised against the Convention on Genocide include:
The convention excludes targeted political and social groups
Providing intention beyond reasonable doubt is extremely difficult
the difficulty of defining or measuringin part, and establishing how many
deaths equal genocide
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