Reducing Genocide to Law

Reducing Genocide to Law : Definition, Meaning, and the Ultimate Crime

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Could the prevailing view that genocide is the ultimate crime be wrong? Is it possible that it is actually on an equal footing with war crimes and crimes against humanity? Is the power of the word genocide derived from something other than jurisprudence? And why should a hierarchical abstraction assume such importance in conferring meaning on suffering and injustice? Could reducing a reality that is beyond reason and words into a fixed category undermine the very progress and justice that such labelling purports to achieve? For some, these questions may border on the international law equivalent of blasphemy. This original and daring book, written by a renowned scholar and practitioner who was the first Legal Advisor to the UN Prosecutor at The Hague, is a probing reflection on empathy and our faith in global justice.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139215868
  • 9781139215862

Table of contents

1. The power of a word; 2. The taxonomy of crimes; 3. The core elements of international crimes; 4. A hierarchy of international crimes?; 5. Naming the nameless crime; 6. Who owns 'genocide'?; 7. Contesting 'genocide' in jurisprudence; 8. Silence, empathy, and the potentialities of jurisprudence.
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Review quote

'Without a doubt, the first half of the book is the best, as it deals with what Akhavan clearly knows inside and out: domestic and international criminal law ... Akhavan provides an excellent analysis of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda's jurisprudence on the crime of genocide as well as a solid review of the many debates surrounding the meaning, legal and otherwise, of this particular atrocity.' Maureen S. Hiebert, Canadian Yearbook of International Law
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