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					       Genocide
International Response in
     the 20th Century
                  Raphael Lemkin
Jewish legal scholar working for the
Polish government.
Became interested in the case of
Soghomon Tehlirian
1933 Madrid Conference—warned
against Nazism and attempted to
persuade international lawyers to adopt
a law against genocide
1944—first to use the term genocide in
book on Nazis laws and policies
1946—persuaded U.N. to adopt a
resolution banning genocide
                The Principle of State
                     Sovereignty

Countries have been slow to adopt an international ban on
genocide because they wish to protect the principle of state
sovereignty.
State sovereignty is the principle that states have absolute
authority to govern themselves free of outside interference.
                        Nuremburg Trials
After WWII, Nazis leaders were put
on trial by the international
community for committing crimes
against humanity.
This set three important principles
that weakened state sovereignty as
a principle for protecting leaders who
violate international safeguards for
human rights
  1st principle: Any person (even a political leader) who commits a crime
  under international law is responsible for his actions
  2nd principle: The fact that one’s own state does not impose penalties for
  acts considered crimes under international law does not protect people who
  violate the international law
  3rd principle: Acting under the orders of one’s superiors does not protect a
  person from prosecution under international law
              1948 U.N. Treaty Banning
                     Genocide
In the aftermath of Nazi
Germany, the member nations
of the U.N. signed a treaty in
which all agreed that
genocide should be an
international crime.
However, the U.S. Senate
did not ratify the treaty,
arguing that it contains
unclear language, and
reference to “mental harm”
might be used to prosecute
treatment of African or Native
Americans in the U.S.
               1986: The U.S. Senate
               finally ratifies the treaty
President Reagan created
an outcry when he paid
respects at a cemetery in
Bitburg, Germany, where
Nazis S.S. had been buried.
In order to assure Jewish
American voters of his
sympathies, he successfully
pushed the Senate into
ratifying the U.N. treaty
banning genocide.
Further Precedents Weakening State
   Sovereignty to Protect Groups

Between the 1st and 2nd Gulf
War, the international
community intervened in Iraq
to protect Kurds from the Iraqi
army
In 1999, a U.S.-led
international force went to war
against Serbia in order to
protect Albanians in Kosovo
from genocide.

				
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posted:9/17/2012
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