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11 Genocide, Other Genocidal Acts, and Modes of Participation

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 — Aiding and abetting — Customary international law

This chapter considers what extent of the act of and participation in genocide becomes punishable, as stated in Article III of the Genocide Convention. Article III provides that the following acts shall be punishable: genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide. These provisions were intended to ensure the effectiveness of the convention, encapsulating many categories of conduct which could contribute to the commission of such a crime, including at the earliest stages of the genocidal process. But whilst the convention provides for these five inchoate offences and modes of liability, a culpable contribution to an act of genocide is not limited to these. Liability could be incurred as a matter of customary law for contributing to an act of genocide in a variety of other ways, including by instigating, ordering, or aiding and abetting such a crime or pursuant to the doctrine of superior responsibility. Domestic regimes could recognize still more categories of punishable acts or modes of liability applicable to acts of genocide.

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