Denial of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity

Martin Imbleau

in Genocide Denials and the Law

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199738922
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895199 | DOI:
Denial of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity

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This chapter examines the scope of ad hoc statutes prohibiting the denial of the Holocaust, genocide, or other crimes against humanity. It begins with a brief look at the tactics and intentions of deniers, which will provide the necessary background for interpreting the legal provisions. It examines the different events targeted by the statutes, as well as the spectrum of these provisions: they cover not only direct denial but also the gross minimization and apology of the crimes covered by these laws. This section is followed by a discussion of the rules governing the evidence and of the establishment of the targeted events, as well as of the difference between direct legislative establishment of historical events and referring to the decision of an international tribunal. The chapter then provides a brief overview of the main ad hoc statutes, focusing on some provisions that have generated important jurisprudence, including the French Gayssot Law. It discusses the standardization of ad hoc approaches among European countries to more consistently prohibit denial speech, covering the infringements, by those statutes, on freedom of speech, which, in these cases, are justified. Finally, future developments of ad hoc statutes are examined.

Keywords: Holocaust denial; genocide denial; ad hoc statutes; European law; French Gayssot Law

Chapter.  17575 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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