The Prohibition of Genocide as an International Norm of jus cogens and its Implications for International Law
Keywords:Genocide, Genocide Convention, Crimes Against Humanity, ICC, ICTY, ICTR and Universality Jurisdiction
The crime of Genocide is considered as one of the most severe crimes against humanity. The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Article (II) and (III) of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment the Genocide. However, the Convention failed to cover many of the major human rights violations and mass killings committed by perpetrators and their accomplices. This article focuses on the interpreting the definition of genocide, and addressing the problems involved in both the prosecution and defence of charges of genocide when committed by individuals. It will argue that not every act committed with intention to destroy, in whole or in part, a protected group will lead to a rise in the responsibility for genocide. Only those, which are mentioned in Article (II) of the Genocide Convention, may form the intent (Actus Reus) of genocide. Rather, it will analyse how the Genocide Convention allows the establishment of Universality Jurisdiction against the crime of genocide by prescribing that genocide is a crime under international law, and how the States can exercise Universal Jurisdiction over acts committed outside a State’s territory by a foreigner.
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