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Cassese's International Criminal Law

Cassese's International Criminal Law (3rd edn)

Antonio Cassese and Paola Gaeta
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date: 07 December 2023

6. Genocidelocked

6. Genocidelocked

  • Antonio Cassese,
  • Paola Gaeta,
  • Laurel Baig,
  • Mary Fan,
  • Christopher Gosnell
  •  and Alex Whiting


The term ‘genocide’ refers to the intention to destroy entire groups, whether national, racial, religious, cultural, and so on. Genocide acquired autonomous significance as a specific crime in 1948, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Genocide Convention, whose substantive rules may largely be considered as declaratory of customary international law. This chapter analyzes the main features of the Genocide Convention and examines the legal ingredients of the crime of genocide, as also clarified in international and national case law. It discusses developments in the case law on genocide; objective and subjective elements of genocide; protected groups; two problematic aspects of genocide; genocide and crimes against humanity; and Article 6 of the International Criminal Court Statute and customary international law.

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