Genocide and Justice
Jan 10, 2011
- Genocide is committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical,
racial, or religious group.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
- 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 group are excluded from the definition of genocide.
- What is left is what is appropriate justice for the victims and what is appropriate
consequences for the perpetrators.
- Its genocide if its based on race or religion or gender, but its not genocide if its political
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, namely
Other inhumane acts
Committed against any civilians populations
2) War crimes, or violations of the laws and customs or war, namely:
Deportation for slave labour or for any other purpose fo the civilian
population of or in occupied territory.
Nazi-Germany with the killing of the Jews was the first time there was the
deliberate killing of a single race. 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
- 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 war.
- The objections most frequently raised against the Convention on Genocide include:
o The convention excludes targeted political and social groups.
o Proving intention beyond reasonable doubt is extremely difficult
o The difficulty of defining or measuring “in part”, and establishing how many
deaths equal genocide.
- The trial of the Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg Trials.
- 2. The Nuremberg Laws marked a fundamental change in international law governments
could be held accountable for actions against their own citizenry or those under their
- The trials emphasized the duty to presecute 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.
Responisibilities of Individu