The Way Forward: Rethinking the Crime of Crimes

Dr. David Nersessian

in Genocide and Political Groups

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199588909
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594557 | DOI:
The Way Forward: Rethinking the Crime of Crimes

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This chapter proposes an optional protocol to the 1948 Genocide Convention paired and an amendment to the ICC Statute to address political genocide. It considers several potential objections to creating the new offense, including its potential impact on legitimate military and law enforcement interests (e.g., terrorism prevention). It also considers whether the inclusion of political groups would interfere with the Convention itself or otherwise dilute the concept of genocide as a unique offense. It demonstrates that none of these considerations justify continued non-recognition of political genocide. The chapter then discusses the divergence between law ‘on the books’ and actual enforcement, using the situation in Darfur as an example of difficulties of exercising political will on the international plane. It concludes that the direct prohibition of political genocide through law is an essential first step to preventing and punishing atrocities aimed at destroying political groups ‘as such’.

Keywords: political groups; genocide; Genocide Convention; political genocide; Darfur; Sudan; political will; law enforcement; terrorism; human rights

Chapter.  6790 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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