Genocide in International Law
The Crime of Crimes
By William A. Schabas
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2009
Online Publication Date:July 2009
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511575556.002
There has probably been more legal development concerning the crime of genocide in the eight years since the first edition of this book was completed than in the five preceding decades. Where, in mid-1999, the ad hoc tribunals had only made a handful of judicial pronouncements interpreting the definition of genocide, there is now a rich body of jurisprudence, including several important rulings by the Appeals Chambers. At the time, there was a paucity of legal literature, with most scholarly writing dominated by historians and sociologists. Now, the legal bibliography on genocide is rich and extensive. Crowning this fertile period, in February 2007 the International Court of Justice issued its major ruling on the subject, a long-awaited conclusion to a case filed by Bosnia and Herzegovina against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1993.
Naturally, this second edition takes account of this, updating the scholarship and, where appropriate, revising certain assessments. The approach in the first edition to the interpretation of the terms of the 1948 Genocide Convention was relatively conservative. At the time, my mind was open to the prospect that the law would evolve in a different direction, driven by a certain logic that views progressive development as synonymous with constant expansion of definitions so as to encompass an increasingly broad range of acts. The case law has tended to confirm the former. For example, it has generally rejected the suggestion that ‘ethnic cleansing’ be merged with genocide.
Reference Type: bibliography