Home Human Rights Economic Social Cultural Rights Is Canada Internationally Responsible for Genocide?

3 Responses

  1. Joseph Rikhof

    I agree with the analysis and conclusion in this blog; I have reached the same conclusion but have reached other an analysis, which can be found here:

  2. Anton Moiseienko

    Thanks for the interesting post. But I’m not sure I see how the ‘failure to prevent’ argument would get around the issue of the alleged crime not existing in international law at the time. In final analysis, one still has to (a) identify when the crime of genocide came into existence, and (b) establish whether Canada’s actions after that point amounted to genocide. In terms of the broader picture, your final paragraph is of course spot-on.

  3. Bruno Gelinas-Faucher Bruno Gelinas-Faucher

    Dear Anton, thank you for your comment. I fully agree with you. My point about an obligation to prevent was made with regard to attribution, but it would not get around the question of whether genocide existed at the relevant time. The ICJ was in fact pretty clear on that point in Croatia v. Serbia when it stated that the obligation to prevent in the Genocide Convention has no retroactive application. There’s still the question of customary international law, and on that point the Court noted that “a State which is not yet party to the Convention when acts of genocide take place might well be in breach of its obligation under customary international law to prevent those acts from occurring”. While in this post I limited myself to pointing out the lack of discussion on the issue of temporality, the excellent analysis by Professor Rikhof (mentioned in the comment above) actually offers more insight as to the specific timeframe regarding the genocide convention and customary international law.