Prevention of Genocide under International Law

An analysis of the obligations of states and the United Nations to prevent genocide at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels

By Etienne Ruvebana

Genocide is 'the crime of crimes' which shocks the conscience of mankind the most because of the unspeakable damage and pain it causes. This book studies the obligation to prevent genocide under international law and, more particularly, the extent of that obligation under the Genocide Convention and customary international law. Although, this obligation is recognized in public international law, the issue of what this obligation actually entails has not received much attention in scholarly works, nor in practice. Even recent debates focused on intervention at the stage where genocide is about to be committed or is being committed, ignoring prevention at early stages. Yet, such early prevention is pivotal in order to effectively reduce the risk of genocide. Drawing upon, inter alia, the 2007 genocide judgment of the International Court of Justice, this book puts forward a distinction between primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention of genocide. Within this temporal structure, the book analyzes and applies the obligation to prevent genocide by States and the United Nations. This leads to a clarification of that legal obligation by filling it with concrete international legal measures to be taken by both States and the UN at each level, and by suggesting improvements, which include the creation of national and international institutions to actively promote and monitor the prevention of genocide. *** Etienne Ruvebana has been awarded the Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award 2014 for this book. (Series: School of Human Rights Research - Vol. 66) [Subject: Public International Law, Human Rights Law]

Publication Date: 10/31/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781780682730