Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

10 Punishable Acts

From: International Crimes: Law and Practice: Volume I: Genocide

Guénaël Mettraux

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 May 2023

Genocide — Customary international law

This chapter enumerates the five punishable acts laid out in Article II of the Genocide Convention. These are: killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. From the convention onwards, international instruments — in particular, the statutory instruments of international(ized) criminal tribunals — have dutifully stuck to that limited list of five recognized categories of underlying offences. But whilst the list is exhaustive as a matter of customary law, international law does not prohibit a national or international(ized) jurisdiction from expanding upon that list. Finally, an act which is not explicitly listed as one of the prohibited acts (e.g., rape or ‘ethnic cleansing’) could still constitute an act of genocide if it satisfies the actus reus and mens rea elements of one of the listed offences.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.