The 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) has a special standing in international law and international politics. For 60 years, the crime of genocide has been recognised as the most horrendous crime in international law, famously designated the 'crime of crimes'. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its adoption the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that 'genocide is the ultimate form of discrimination'. In the same context the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court described the Genocide Convention as a 'visionary and founding text for the Court'. The Convention has as such influenced the subsequent development of many different areas of international law. For example, the 1951 Advisory Opinion on the Genocide Convention enabled the International Court of Justice to shape the modern regime of reservations to treaties. More recently, the prohibition against genocide has become a crucial pillar of the regime of international criminal law developing since the 1990s, with genocide being one of the core crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the UN ad hoc tribunals, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the permanent International Criminal Court.In this work the 19 provisions of the Convention are analysed article-by-article, with abundant references to state practice and case law.
Christian J Tams is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely on various aspects of international law including the law of state responsibility, dispute settlement, and the international rules governing the rules of force. Dr. Lars Berster is a senior lecturer at the Chair of German and International Criminal Law at the University of Cologne, Germany (Lehrstuhl fur deutsches und internationales Strafrecht). Dr. Bjoern Schiffbauer is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Public International and Foreign Public Law at the University of Cologne, Germany (Institut fur Voelkerrecht und auslandisches oeffentliches Recht).
General Introduction (Tams/Berster/Schiffbauer) Article I (Tams) Article II (Berster) Article III (Berster) Article IV (Schiffbauer) Article V (Schiffbauer) Article VI (Schiffbauer) Article VII (Schiffbauer) Article VIII (Schiffbauer) Article IX (Tams) Reservations to the Convention (Tams) Article X (Tams) Article XI (Tams) Article XII (Tams) Article XIII (Tams) Article XIV (Tams) Article XV (Tams) Article XVI (Tams) Article XVII (Tams) Article XVIII (Tams) Article XIX (Tams) Annexes to the Commentary Annex 1: Authentic Treaty Versions Annex 2: The Way Towards the Convention Annex 3: Treaty Participation Annex 4: Treaty Action Annex 5: Definitions of Genocide in the National Legislation of the Member States Index