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Responsibility for Genocide:The State or The Individual?: - The emergence of individual criminal responsibility from Nuremberg to Rwanda and Srebrenica
Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Before the Nuremberg Trials in 1945, individual criminal responsibility was not commonly used as states were held liable for breaches of international law. Even though genocide was not established as a crime at the time of Nuremberg, the majority of convicted individuals were held liable for crime against humanity, which criteria resembles genocide. In aftermath of Nuremberg, The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted, which criminalized genocide whether it was committed by individuals or states. In order for genocide to have occurred two legal criteria had to be fulfilled, the actus reus which is the physical action of genocide and the dolus specialis which is the intent to destroy a group based on their nationality, ethnicity, race or religion. Fifty years after Nuremberg, the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda were installed. Both tribunals were ad hoc and had emerged after internal conflicts where genocide was involved. The aim of both tribunals was to convict individuals for breaches of international humanitarian law. In 2007 and 2012, the International Court of Justice addressed state responsibility for genocide twice. In one of the cases, the focal point was on Serbia‟s failure as a state to prevent genocide and punish individuals who had committed the crime on Bosnian territory. However in both genocide cases, the court targeted the collective action of several individuals that represented the state. Therefore the question of who in practice answers for genocide has become more prominent, especially in how individual and state responsibility is distinguished in the Genocide Convention. The present study found that individuals are held liable for genocide, but when state responsibility is issued, it is the actions of several influential individuals rather the action of one individual that is the focal point. The legal forum is therefore a fundamental factor in the allocation of responsibility for genocide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 59
Keywords [en]
Genocide, State responsibility, Individual responsibility, Criminal responsibility, International law, International criminal law, Nuremberg, ICTY, ICTR, ICJ, Srebrenica, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Draft Articles, Genocide Convention, Statutes
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156944OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156944DiVA, id: diva2:1213203
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Available from: 2018-07-26 Created: 2018-06-04 Last updated: 2018-07-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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