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Genocide and Justice.docx

15 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Genocide and Justice 1/16/2012 10:12:00 AM Definition: 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: 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. Crime Against Humanity, namely: murder, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, 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: murder, ill-treatment, deportation for slave labor or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory. Precedents : 1. The trial of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg for genocide and crimes against humanity after their DEFEAT in World War II. A truth commission is A temporary body, Set up by an official authority (president, parliament) to Investigate a pattern of gross human rights violations 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. Test Case: Argentina Under a military government in the 1970s, from 9000-30000 persons are estimated to have disappeared in the war against subversion . Referred to as EI Proceso or the Dirty War. The loss to the UK in the Falklands War of 1982 discredited the military and led to changes 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. The panel published a report called Nunca Mas or Never Again. 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? The lengthy time of prosecution gave the military the time to regroup and organize; Prosecution of mid-level officers, rather than only the senior commanders, galvanized military opposition. The lesson of Argentina: Justice and political stability are best reconciled through a program of prosecutions that has defined limits. The Children and South African Alternatives CHILE President Aylwin was inaugurated in March, 1990, after negotiating transitional arrangements with a united, undefeated military that still enjoyed considerable support. The new government: Established two goals: reparation and prevention. It explicitly did NOT emphasize punishment as one of the principal objectives. Gave priority to DISCLOSURE of the TRUTH. The emphasis was on memorialization and President Aylwin appointed the National Commission The mandate of the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation: To describe how a repressive system worked, its roots, its methods, and its consequences; To account for every individual reported dead or disappeared. To account for systematic practice of torture. To account for the crimes committed by opposition groups To propose measures for reparation and prevention, in consultation with social, religious, and political organizations, as wells as the expertise of human rights organizations in Chile and abroad. The Commission presented its report to the President in February 1991, recommending: Pensions for the families of the dead and the disappeared; Measures designed to commemorate the dead and honor the victims; Legal, institutional, and educational reforms to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights. The report did NOT name individual culprits. It did declare whether the victimizer in any given case was an agent of the state or a member of an opposition group. The Chilean government made a set of compromises among: Justice Memory Reparation Prevention Vengeance International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda On 8 November 1994, the UNSC created an International Criminal Tribunal. The purpose of the Tribunal is: To bring to justice those persons presumed responsible for acts of genocide or other violations of humanitarian law on Rwanda territory, and Rwandan citizens presumed responsible for such acts or violations committed on the territory of neighboring States between 1 January and 31 December 1994. The principal purpose is justice, through prosecution and punishment, to create a collective deterrent .
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