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Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

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POL100 Genocide January 10th 2010
Genocide is committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a
national, ethnical, racial, or religious group
Genocide occurs by:
Killing members of a 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
So race, religious, and ethnic, but not political
Acts directed against political groups are excluded from the definition of genocide
Crimes Against Humanity
The Charter of the International Military Tribunal described these atrocities as
customary international crimes that justify international criminal sanctions:
1.Crimes Against Humanity, namely:

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POL100 Genocide January 10th 2010
Rape, or
Other inhumane acts,
Committed against any civilian population, before or during the war
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
Its from the Nuremberg trials that we get the fundamental body of law that will
govern our conversation today about genocide
Nuremberg trials set up by a council of the victorious nations to try the defeated
Its from that sense that we get the controversy of Victors Justice
It was created in an ad hoc way, it wasnt an internationally sanctioned institution
Difference 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 crime takes place only during a
Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide can take place outside the context of war
The objections most frequently raised against the Convention on Genocide include:
The convention excludes targeted political and social groups
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