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3 Genocide under General International Law

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 — Armed conflict

This chapter describes genocide as it pertains to international law. It argues that the law of genocide applies in times of peace and war. When an act of genocide is committed in an armed conflict, its criminal character does not depend on its being materially connected to the conflict. Furthermore, where genocide occurs in an armed conflict, the applicability of the law of genocide and the obligations to prevent and punish genocide are not affected by the nature — international or non-international — of the conflict. The law of genocide is not, however, entirely insensitive to the existence of an armed conflict. When a conflict exists alongside acts of genocide, the determination of whether a particular conduct was legally permissible or whether it might constitute an act of genocide could, in some cases, be aided by the relevant standards of humanitarian law applicable to that conflict. However, the rules applicable to determining the responsibility of a state and those applicable to individuals are not identical.

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