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Genocide (please just ignore those blank squares, just a problem with MC Office)

Political Science
Course Code
Janice Stein

of 5
Genocide and Justice / January 10th / Lecture Note / Prof Wong
What is genocide? 
-Definition: It is committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part a national, ethnical,
racial, gender, or religious group
Genocide is the most serious one of all three levels of crime. Other two arecrimes against
humanity” and “war crimes
The convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide:
Genocide occurs by: (when and what occurs/ based on what?)
-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
-Forcibly transferring children of one group to another group
-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)Genocide is a crime against humanity
2)War Crimes: or violations of the laws and customs of war namely (murder, ill-
treatment, slave labour in occupied territory)
3)Who organize the genocide? Victory party in the war, winner treat losers with genocide /
no international infrastructure to prevent genocide before 1945
Difference between War Crimes and Crime against Humanity:
-One instance of a reprehensible act could be a war crime, but not a crime against
The objection most frequently raised against the convention on genocide includes:
-The convention excluded targeted political and social groups (special group, who? How
to define?)
-Proving intention beyond reasonable doubt is extremely difficult
-The difficult of defining or measuringin part, and establishing how many deaths equal
Precedents  count:
-The trail of the war
-The Nuremberg Law marked a fundamental change in international law governments
could be held accountable for actions against their own citizenry or those under their
control (new international norm)
-The trials emphasized the duty to prosecute and punish, so as:
1)To preserve the collective memory of those who were killed to memorialize
2)To create a collective and objective history of what had happened; and
3)To create an effective deterrent 
Responsibilities of individual states:
-Even after they (governments) have been defeated an replaced, the perpetrators of past
crimes may still wield considerable political power
-Even after democratic elections, the military who was responsible for genocide or crimes
against humanity may still control available weapons and force
-Past perpetrators of abuses may still command the loyalty of significant parts of the
population; prosecution  may threaten civil war
How should emerging democracies address the atrocities of their recent past, when the
perpetrators still wieldconsiderable political or military power?
A truth commission is:
-A temporary body set up by an official authority (president, parliament) to investigate a
pattern of gross  human rights violations 
-What to do: committed over a period of time in the past, with a view to issuing a public
report, which include: victims’ date and recommendations for justice and reconciliation
(restoring relationship between perpetrators and victims – difficult to do)
Test Case: Argentina
-Under a military government in the 1970s from 9000 to 30000 persons are estimated to
have disappeared in the war against subversion 
-Referred to asEI Proceso” or the Dirty War
Argentina Contains:
The new civilian government:
-Brought some military leaders to trial for crimes against the Argentinean population
-Appointed a presidential panel to investigate the political disappearances of thousands of
Argentineans, who were arrested, tortured and killed by the military juntas
BUT unrest among the military led to:
-To retreat from further prosecutions and amnesty most violations by junior and
mid-level officers
What went wrong in Argentina?
-No punishment as military prosecution a group, too slow, give military the time to
regroup and organize;
-Made decision: prosecution of mid-level officers, rather than only the senior
commanders, galvanized military opposition.