Genocide in International Law: The Crime of Crimes by William A. Schabas PDF

By William A. Schabas

The 1948 Genocide conference has turn into a necessary felony device within the overseas crusade opposed to impunity. Its provisions, together with its enigmatic definition of the crime and its pledge either to punish and forestall the 'crime of crimes', have now been interpreted in vital judgments through the foreign court docket of Justice, the advert hoc Tribunals for the previous Yugoslavia and Rwanda and diverse family courts. the second one variation of this definitive paintings specializes in the judicial interpretation of the conference, hoping on debates within the overseas legislations fee, political statements in our bodies just like the normal meeting of the United international locations and the turning out to be physique of case legislations. consciousness is given to the concept that of secure teams, to difficulties of legal prosecution and to problems with overseas judicial cooperation, similar to extradition. the obligation to avoid genocide and its courting with the rising doctrine of the 'responsibility to protect' also are explored.

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Codification of the law of armed conflict began in the nineteenth century. In its early years, this was oriented to the protection of medical personnel and the prohibition of certain types of weapons. The Hague Regulations of 1907 reflect the focus on combatants but include a section concerning the treatment of civilian populations in occupied territories. 8 Moreover, the preamble to the Hague Regulations contains the promising ‘Martens clause’, which states that 5 6 7 8 Treaty of Peace between Sweden and the Empire, signed at Osnabruck, 14(24) October 1648; Dumont VI, Part 1, p.

Kayishema et al. (Case No. ICTR-95-1-A), Judgment (Reasons), 1 June 2001. It is certainly hard to reconcile with the use of the expression ‘crime of crimes’ to describe genocide by the Appeals Chamber three years after Kayishema: Niyitegeka v. Prosecutor (Case No. ICTR-96-14-A), Judgment, 9 July 2004, para. 49. As the Darfur Commission noted, the Appeals Chamber said that ‘there is no hierarchy of crimes under the Statute, and that all of the crimes specified therein are “serious violations of international humanitarian law”, capable of attracting the same sentence’ (my italics).

35 Thus, the Genocide Convention, not the Nuremberg Charter, first recognized the idea that gross human rights violations committed in the absence of an armed conflict are nevertheless of international concern, and attract international prosecution. 36 33 34 35 36 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, note 13 above, art. 7(1)(h). Agreement for the Prosecution and Punishment of Major War Criminals of the European Axis, and Establishing the Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), annex, (1951) 82 UNTS 279, art.

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