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Genocide and Political Groups$
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David L. Nersessian

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588909.001.0001

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Political Genocide and Customary International Law

Political Genocide and Customary International Law

(p.91) 5 Political Genocide and Customary International Law
Genocide and Political Groups

Dr. David Nersessian

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of whether, as some suggest, political genocide is prohibited already by virtue of post-Convention developments in customary international law. It discusses the evidentiary requirements necessary to establish the formation of customary international law. It then provides an empirical examination of state practice and opinio juris on genocide and political genocide. The analysis covers domestic legislation on genocide from some eighty-four states, together with nearly every domestic and international case that has applied the concept, as well as the historical records from all three drafting conferences for the Genocide Convention. It demonstrates conclusively that, although some states criminalize political genocide as a matter of domestic province, there is no basis to conclude that the crime otherwise exists as a free-standing offense under international law.

Keywords:   political groups, genocide, Genocide Convention, political genocide, customary international law, state practice, opinio juris, human rights, international criminal law, international crimes

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