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2 Int'l J.L. Mgmt. & Human. 302 (2019)
Genocide: A Threat to the International Peace and Security: A Critical Analysis

handle is hein.journals/ijlmhs2 and id is 302 raw text is: www.ijlmh.com                                    ©2018 IJLMH I Volume 2, Issue 1 1 ISSN: 2581-5369
Genocide: A Threat to the International Peace and
A Critical Analysis
Krishnapriya K.S.
Government Law College, Thrissur
Kerala, India
This paper intends to provide an overview of the crime of genocide through drawing special attention on the 1948
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The paper highlights the exigency of a more
comprehensive approach to the prevention of genocide globally, by addressing the existing lacunae of the present
Convention. The paper interprets the meaning of genocide through a closer look at the various provisions of the
The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (article 2) defines genocide
as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or
religious group ... , including: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to
members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its
physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e)
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The Convention confirms that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or war, is a crime under
international law which parties to the Convention undertake to prevent and to punish (article 1). The primary
responsibility to prevent and stop genocide lies with the State in which this crime takes place. Genocide often
occurs in societies in which different national, racial, ethnic or religious groups become locked in identity-
related conflicts. However, it is not the differences in identity per se that generate conflict, but rather the gross
inequalities associated with those differences in terms of access to power and resources, social services,
development opportunities and the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms. It is often the targeted
group's reactions to these inequalities, and counter-reactions by the dominant group, that generate conflict that
can escalate to genocide.
Whether a state could actually perpetrate genocide, and engage its responsibility for doing so pursuant to the
Convention, remained at the heart of Bosnia v Serbia case. The court observed that the obligation on states 'not
to commit genocide themselves' was 'not expressly imposed by the actual terms of the Convention'. This was a
question better addressed from the article 1 than article 9, which is essentially a jurisdictional provision, it

International Journal of Law Management & Humanities

Page 302

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