60 Years of the Genocide Convention: An International Law Analysis

29 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2012

See all articles by Harjass Singh

Harjass Singh

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 17, 2012


“It came as a joyous day break to end the long night of captivity.” Martin Luther King Jr., (Describing the Emancipation Proclamation)

Similar feelings filled the hearts of people who had witnessed the devastation caused by genocides, when the Genocide Convention was drafted in the year 1948.

For these past six decades, we have been ‘armed’ with this weapon that was missing from our armoury during the holocaust. Yet, through an utter failure in implementation with states citing the ‘State Sovereignty’ principle to shirk responsibility, and ineptitude of the various instruments of international law owing to an overt reliance on the Security Council and rigid definition of ‘genocide’ under the Convention, the world has seen repeated perpetration of this heinous crime. It is time we question the competence of the genocide convention, since applicability has been poor with a great deal of states excluding themselves from the submission clause.

Through this research paper, the author proposes a two-pronged approach that uses parallel short term and long term schemes in order to counter genocide in a more effective manner.

The first proposal by the author is the use of short-term measures such as an increase in flexibility of the definition of ‘genocide’ specified under Article II of the Convention and placing of greater trust in proven Early Warning systems in order to facilitate not just intervention, but also prevention of genocide.

The second proposal under the plot is the use of a parallel long-term objectives model, which includes placing greater reliance on the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine rather than that of ‘State Sovereignty’ and the establishment of an independent ICJ genocide intervention unit, which will result in not only more freedom in the implementation of ICJ orders against perpetrators of genocide, but will also serve to build greater trust in the Convention, thereby resulting in further ratification and obedience of the Convention.

Keywords: Genocide Convention, Genocide, Sovereign Equality, Human Rights, Cold War, Jus Cogens

Suggested Citation

Singh, Harjass, 60 Years of the Genocide Convention: An International Law Analysis (November 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2177258 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2177258

Harjass Singh (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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