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International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals$
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Guénaël Mettraux

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207541.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2022

Genocide and Crimes against Humanity

Genocide and Crimes against Humanity

(p.329) 26 Genocide and Crimes against Humanity
International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals

Guénaél Mettraux

Oxford University Press

Genocide is often viewed as the ultimate crime against humanity, but they are in fact legally distinct. First, crimes against humanity and genocide have a different mens rea. Second, the range of underlying offences which may qualify as genocidal is more restricted in scope than those that may qualify as crimes against humanity. Third, crimes against humanity must be committed in the context of an armed conflict, whereas genocide may be committed in time of peace as well as in time of war. Fourth, the definition of genocide unlike that of crimes against humanity does not require that the acts of the accused occur in the context of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population. Fifth, whereas a crime against humanity may only be committed against civilians, genocide can be committed against any member of the targeted group, whether combatants or civilians. This chapter also discusses the distinction between genocide and persecution and between genocide and extermination.

Keywords:   genocide, crimes against humanity, persecution, extermination, underlying offences, armed conflict, attack, civilian population

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