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40 Geo. J. Int'l L. 311 (2008-2009)
Stopping Genocide through International Agreement When the Security Council Fails to Act

handle is hein.journals/geojintl40 and id is 315 raw text is: ARTICLES

STOPPING GENOCIDE THROUGH
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT WHEN THE
SECURITY COUNCIL FAILS TO ACT
GEORGE A. CRITCHLOW*
I. INTRODUCTION
Despite the development of positive, explicit and clearly applicable
international law, including the 1948 Convention on the Prevention
and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention),'
the United Nations (UN) has been unable or unwilling to prevent or
stop the most extreme and widely publicized cases of human rights
abuses. These include genocide in Rwanda, ethnic cleansing in Kosovo,
politically motivated exterminations in Cambodia, and the ongoing
systematic slaughter of men, women, and children in Darfur. Other
mass atrocities have occurred throughout the world in the last fifty
years in Angola, Burma, Somalia, Indonesia, Chile, Sierra Leone,
Bosnia, and Iraq, among other places.2
There is tension between two core international law values: respect
* Associate Professor of Law at Gonzaga University School of Law. I am indebted to Allen
Buchanan and Jack Donnelly, whose writings stimulated me to think about this topic. I also am
grateful for the hard work, insights, and support contributed by my student research assistant,
Courtney Garcea. This article is dedicated to my friend, Eva Lassman, a survivor of Nazi death
camps and a champion in the fight against hate. © 2009, George A. Critchlow.
1. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Dec. 9, 1948;
102 Stat. 3045, 78 U.N.T.S. 277 [hereinafter Genocide Convention]; Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217A, at 71, U.N. GAOR, 3d Sess., 1st plen. mtg., U.N. Doc. A/810. (Dec.
12, 1948); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Dec. 16, 1966, S. EXEC. Doc. E,
95-2 (1978), 999 U.N.T.S. 171; International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights,
Dec. 16, 1966, 993 U.N.T.S. 3; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Dec. 10, 1984, S. TREATY Doc. No. 100-20 (1988), 1465
U.N.T.S. 85; Convention on the Rights of the Child, Nov. 20, 1989, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3; Convention of
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Dec. 18, 1979, 1249 U.N.T.S. 13;
International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Dec. 21,
1965, S. ExEc. Doc. C, 95-2 (1978), 660 U.N.T.S. 195.
2. LEE FEINSTEIN, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, DARFUR AND BEYOND: WHAT IS NEEDED TO
PREVENT MAss ATRocrTiEs 7 (2007), available at http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/
attachments/DarfurCSR22.pdf (This list was originally compiled by Barbara Harif for the State
Failure/Political Instability Task Force, a group of scholars commissioned by the CIA in 1994 to
investigate the causes of state failure. It includes countries with incidents of genocide or politically
motivated mass killings, which the task force terms 'politicides.') (citing Barbara Harff, Assessing
Risk of Genocide and Politicide, in PEACE AND CoNmICr 2005 57, 58 (Monty G. Marshall & Ted Robert
Gurr eds., 2005)).

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