Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hoffmann: The Crime of Genocide in its (Nearly) Infinite Domestic Variety

Tamás Hoffmann (Corvinus Univ. of Budapest; Hungarian Academy of Sciences) has posted The Crime of Genocide in its (Nearly) Infinite Domestic Variety (in The Concept of Genocide in International Criminal Law - Developments after Lemkin, Marco Odello & Piotr Łubiński eds., 2020). Here's the abstract:

Genocide is the "crime of crimes", whose legal definition remained unchanged on the international plane since the adoption of the 1948 Genocide Convention. Hitherto it has been assumed that with some minor modifications domestic definitions of the crime of genocide mirror the internationally accepted definition. However, after conducting for the first time a comprehensive review of the domestic criminal laws of 196 countries (all 193 UN Member States and the Holy See, Kosovo, and Palestine) and the Special Administrative Region of Macao, this article found that the differences are actually much more significant than hitherto assumed, since 100 countries and the Special Administrative Region of Macao have opted to change – through their national implementations – at least some aspects of the internationally-recognized definition of genocide, often significantly expanding or limiting the scope of application of the crime.

This chapter classifies these changes, proposes some potential explanations why so many countries opted to stray from the international definition and draws some preliminary conclusions of their potential ramifications.