Prosecuting Corporations for Genocide Under International Law
36 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2012 Last revised: 20 Nov 2012
Date Written: July 23, 2012
The thrust of the 1948 Genocide Convention makes people accountable for committing genocide or complicity in genocide. They should not be able to hide in corporate form, and the treaty does not provide protection for corporations from prosecution. International law provides the theoretical tools for such prosecutions. However, modern international criminal tribunals do not establish jurisdiction over companies for participating in atrocities. As the authoritative interpretive body for the treaty, the International Court of Justice should issue an advisory opinion declaring that corporations are capable of committing genocide and, as such, should be tried for it. This would be a logical extension of the ICJ's recent landmark opinion declaring that states can commit genocide.
Keywords: corporation, genocide, international criminal tribunal, international court of justice, Sudan, China, command responsibility, genocide convention, Nuremberg, I.G. Farben, Nazi war crimes trials, crimes against humanity, jurisdiction, company, juridical person, corporate responsibility, intent
JEL Classification: K14, K22, K33, K41, K42, L21, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation