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19 Apr 2012
POL101- January 16th, 2012- Lecture
- building institutions
- difficult choices that governments have to make when it comes to genocide
What is Genocide?
- genocide is committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethnical, racial, or religious group.
- Genocide occurs by:
o Killing members of the group
o Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
o Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to
bring about its physical destruction, in whole or in part.
o Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
o Forcibly transferring children of one group to another group
o Acts directed against political groups are excluded from the definition
of genocide
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
1. Crimes Against Humanity:
- murder
- enslavement
- deportation
- imprisonment
- torture
- rape
- 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
- murder
- ill-treatment
- deportation for slave labour or for any other purpose of the civilian
population of or in occupied territory
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1. The trial of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg for genocide and crimes against
humanity after their DEFEAT in World War II.
o it is not a defense to say I was following orders
o not acceptable, international and legal defense
- anti-genocide legislation is not a universalized and widely accepted concept
- in the 90’s we recreate what we had in 1948, but this time created by the
United Nations
A Truth commissions:
- a temporary body
- created by a successor government
o after a government that created crimes
- set up by an official authority(president, parliament)
- investigate a pattern of gross human rights violation committed over a
period of time in the past, with a view to
- issuing a public report, which includes
- victims’ data and recommendations for justice and reconciliation
o justice is about punishment
Test Case: Argentina
- under a military government in the 1970’s from 9000, 30000 persons are
estimated to have disappeared in the war against subversion
- referred to as “El Proceso” or the Dirty War
- the loss to the UK in the Falklands War of 1982 discredited the military and
led to changes
o thrown out of office when it looses the war to Britain
- the new civilian government
o brought some military leaders to trial for crimes against the
Argentinean population
o appointed a presidential panel to investigate the political
disappearances of thousands of Argentineans who were arrested,
tortured and killed by the military juntas
o the panel published a report called Nunca Mas or Never Again
- but unrest anong the military led to:
o retreat from further prosecution and
o amnesty most violations by junior and mid- level officers
- what went wrong?
o The lengthy time of prosecution gave the military the time to regroup
and organize
o Prosecution of mid-levels officers rather than only the senior
commanders, galvanized military opposition
o The lesson of Argentina: Justice and political stability are best
reconciled through a program of prosecutions that has defined limits
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