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Cover International Criminal Law

9. Crimes against humanity  

This chapter discusses the definition of crimes against humanity, its underlying offences, and some of the historical and theoretical issues surrounding the offence. It first outlines the evolution of the legal definition of crimes against humanity, which occurred through the statutes of international criminal tribunals. It then deals with the ‘contextual element’ of the offence; considers the prohibited acts that may form the conduct underlying a crime against humanity, with the exception of the complex crime of persecution; and examines the crime of persecution. Finally, it re-considers the question why there should be a separate category of crimes against humanity.

Chapter

Cover International Criminal Law

10. Genocide  

This chapter focuses on the crime of genocide. The prohibition against genocide is now found in treaty and customary law, and is universally accepted as being an international crime ‘whether committed in time of peace or in time of war’. Genocide requires that a prohibited act is committed against a member of one of the protected groups, being a ‘national, ethnical, racial, or religious group’. The chapter first considers the definition of the protected groups. It then outlines the legal definitions of the prohibited acts; considers whether there is a ‘contextual element’ required as part of the crime of genocide; and examines the mental element of the crime of genocide and the role of the ‘special intent’ requirement.