The UN Genocide Convention: A Commentary

Hardcover | November 15, 2009

EditorPaola Gaeta

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The Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948, is one of the most important instruments of contemporary international law. It was drafted in the aftermath of the Nuremberg trial to give flesh andblood to the well-known dictum of the International Military Tribunal, according to which 'Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced'. At Nuremberg,senior state officials who had committed heinous crimes on behalf or with the protection of their state were brought to trial for the first time in history and were held personally accountable regardless of whether they acted in their official capacity. The drafters of the Convention on Genocide crystallized the results of the Nuremberg trial and thus ensured its legacy. The Convention established a mechanism to hold those who committed or participated in the commission of genocide, the crime of crimes, criminally responsible. Almost fifty yearsbefore the adoption of the Rome Statute, the Convention laid the foundations for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. It also obliged its Contracting Parties to criminalise and punish genocide.This book is a much-needed Commentary on the Genocide Convention. It analyses and interprets the Convention thematically, thoroughly covering every article, drawing on the Convention's travaux preparatoires and subsequent developments in international law. The most complex and important provisionsof the Convention, including the definitions of genocide and genocidal acts, have more than one contribution dedicated to them, allowing the Commentary to explore all aspects of these concepts. The Commentary also goes beyond the explicit provisions of the Convention to discuss topics such as theretroactive application of the Convention, its status in customary international law and its future.

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The Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948, is one of the most important instruments of contemporary international law. It was drafted in the aftermath of the Nuremberg trial to give flesh andblood to the well-known dictum of the Internati...

Paola Gaeta is a Professor of International Criminal Law at Florence University. Since September 2007 she is also a Professor of International Criminal Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva and Director of the LL.M. Programme of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She is a member of the ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:600 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199570213

ISBN - 13:9780199570218

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Table of Contents

Part I - Introduction1. Yuval Shany: The Road to the Genocide Convention2. Paola Gaeta: The Convention as a Treaty on Judicial Co-operation? State Responsibility v. Individual Criminal Liability (Art. 1)3. Orna Ben Naftali: The Obligation to Prevent and Punish Genocide (Art. 1 and Art. 6)4. Christian Tomuschat: Can the Convention be Applied Retroactively? Prosecuting Denials of Past GenocidesPart II - The Crime of Genocide5. Florian Jessberger: Genocidal Acts (Art. 2)6. Fanny Martin: Protected Groups (Art. 2)7. Florian Jessberger: Genocidal Intent (Art. 2)8. Antonio Cassese: The Policy Element (Art. 2)9. Alexander Zahar: Perpetrators and Co-perpetrators of Genocide (Art. 3 )10. Elies van Sliedregt: Complicity to Commit Genocide (Art. 3)11. Jens Ohlin: Attempt to Commit Genocide (Art. 3)12. Jens Ohlin: Conspiracy and Incitement to Genocide (Art. 3)Part III - Repressing Genocide Through Criminal Law13. Ben Saul: The Criminalization of Genocide in National Legal Systems (Art. 5)14. Vanessa Thalmann: National Criminal Jurisdiction over Genocide (Art. 6)15. Salvatore Zappala: International Criminal Jurisdiction over Genocide (Art. 6)16. Robert Roth: The Extradition of Genocidaires (Art. 7)17. Paola Gaeta: Immunities and Genocide (Art. 4)18. Howard Morrison: The Defence of Alleged GenocidairesPart IV - Enforcing the Convention19. Giorgio Gaja: The Role of the United Nations in Preventing or Suppressing Genocide (Art. 8)20. Robert Kolb and Sandra Krahenmann: The ICJ JurisdictionPart V - The Mechanics of the Convention21. Marko Milanovic: The Territorial Application of the Convention and State Succession (Article 12)22. Katherine Del Mar: Life and Death of the Convention (Entry into Force, Denunciation and Revision of the Convention: Articles 13-19)Part VI - Taking Stock and Looking to the Future: The Convention in the XXIst Century23. Paola Gaeta: The Expansion of the Convention into Customary International Law24. Antonio Cassese: Looking Ahead: Can the Convention's Flaws and Loopholes Be Remedied?