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22 Trinity C.L. Rev. 77 (2019)
Revisiting the Interpretation of the Protected Groups of the Genocide Convention in Light of the Rohingya Case

handle is hein.journals/trinclr22 and id is 87 raw text is: 


                    ADRIA   FERRER-MONFORT*


As  the Convention  on the Prevention  and Punishment  of the Crime  of
Genocide  ('Genocide  Convention') marks  its 70th anniversary,' there is
ongoing  debate as to whether the acts instigated against the Rohingya in
Myanmar   (formerly known  as Burma)  constitute genocide. The Genocide
Convention  defines genocide as the deliberate destruction of a group of
people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race.2 However,
the elements of this crime are rarely satisfied in practice and most atrocities
do not qualify as what has been called the 'crime of crimes'.'
      The reluctance to use the term genocide is particularly evident in the
response to the Rohingya  crisis. What is being inflicted on the Rohingya
people  has been  labelled as 'crimes against humanity'  rather than as
genocide. While the scale of atrocities may be identical in both crimes, the
perpetrator's intent to annihilate a protected group is a special feature of
genocide. In 2017, the former UN High  Commissioner  for Human  Rights,
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, defined Myanmar's  campaign  against the Rohingya
as 'a textbook example of ethnic cleansing' but implied that there was not
enough  information to call the situation genocide.4 Conversely, the UN Fact-

* LL.B. (University of Valencia), BA (University of Valencia), MA (Miguel Hernindez
University of Elche), LLM (International Law), University of Bristol. The author would like to
dedicate this paper to his parents, Maria Jose and Francesc. Of course, the author is also
immensely grateful to Stavroula for her unconditional support, patience and insightful
comments. Finally, the author would like to give a special thanks to Dr Jane Rooney for her
inspiring lectures and advice on an earlier version of this paper, although any errors are my
1 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (adopted 9 December
1948, entered into force 1951) 78 UNTS 277 (Genocide Convention).
2 ibid art 2.
3 The Prosecutor v Kambanda (Judgment) ICTR-97-23-S (4 September 1998) para 16. See also
William Schabas, 'Genocide' in William Schabas (ed), The UN International Criminal
Tribunals: The Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone (CUP 2006) 161, 162.
4 OHCHR,  'Darker and more dangerous: High Commissioner updates the Human Rights
Council    on     Human      Rights     Issues   in     40     Countries'

© 2019 Adria Ferrer-Monfort and Dublin University Law Society

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