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Arcs of Global JusticeEssays in Honour of William A. Schabas$
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Margaret M. deGuzman and Diane Marie Amann

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190272654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190272654.001.0001

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Perspectives on Cultural Genocide

Perspectives on Cultural Genocide

From Criminal Law to Cultural Diversity

(p.321) 17 Perspectives on Cultural Genocide
Arcs of Global Justice

Jérémie Gilbert

Oxford University Press

Cultural genocide broadly refers to ‘the extermination of a culture that does not involve physical extermination of its people’. This chapter examines how, from a criminal law concept, cultural genocide has moved to a concept aimed at protecting cultural diversity. This chapter in Section II will first examine how and why the crime was rejected under international criminal law. Based on this analysis, it will then examine how human rights law, which was meant to address the issue of cultural protection of minorities, has in fact left this area of the law undeveloped. Section III will then assess to what extent the notion of cultural genocide can act as an important tool for conflict prevention when minorities’ cultural assets are under attack. Finally, Section IV will explore how the indigenous peoples’ rights movement has renewed the idea that prohibiting cultural genocide constitutes an essential elements of human rights law.

Keywords:   cultural genocide, Raphael Lemkin, minorities, indigenous peoples, cultural rights

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