CRIM Paper

Submitted By underhillme
Words: 1014
Pages: 5

Although there are discrete differences between genocide and crimes against humanity, through this course it has become clear that both are equally useful in punishing mass crimes. Whether it is mass killing of individuals or mass killings of groups both are destroying millions around the world and are not protecting either individuals or groups for that matter. I believe the concept of genocide has equally grave offenses as crimes against humanity. In more than some cases I believe the atrocities labeled crimes against humanity are actually worse than some labeled genocide. Secondly, the distinctions of both are highly important legally through international law, and conceptually. Thirdly, genocide as a political concept is very important in the intervention of mass atrocities. I truly believe that the concept of genocide should be ruled equally with crimes against humanity. One case we looked at in class was the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was labeled as genocide. The Bosnian Muslim population was destroyed as a whole. The Bosnian Serbs perpetrated them by driving them from their homes, murdering them, looting them, and destroying anything they owned. They also put the Bosnian Muslims in detention camps and used old destroyed homes to keep the Muslim women hostage and to sexually violate them as they pleased. This case was considered genocide. A case where atrocities were labeled as a crime against humanity was the tragedy of the civil war in Sierra Leone that began with an invasion from Liberia into the eastern diamond fields of the country. For more than ten years the joint criminal forces murdered, raped, maimed, and mutilated almost 1.2 million human beings further its purposed of trading diamonds for guns and cash. The Security Council passes Resolution 1315 and it charged the crimes under international law and those recognized in customary international law at the time that the alleged crimes were committed. “The Statue” did not create the crimes to which it refers rather it simply granted the Special Court jurisdiction over existing crimes. In whole the amnesty agreements did not apply to violations of international law, such as crimes against humanity. I think the point to be made is that the type of justice that was represented was potentially no help to Sierra Leonean citizens’ sense of justice than was an alien to justice system. I think it is a fail to step into an all-important local sense of justice without even considering the consequence of one’s order on the victims’ sense of the expected outcome, or even to factor in practical sense of justice. Although the horrific crimes are locally brought out against people who may not be able to comprehend international ramifications, they still want a justice that they can understand, respect, and appreciate. I believe having distinctions of both crimes against humanity and genocide are important in international law, and in concept. However, I believe it has become forgotten that crimes against humanity were originally conceptualized as “acts so odious a nature that their commission was not just an assault on the victims involved, as with war crimes, but an offense against all humanity.” Going back to the case of the Bosnia-Herzegovina the denials are a big part why distinctions can be misinterpreted. When the hundreds of victims took the stands before the ICTY it effectively put an end to the false denials broadcasted by the Bosnian Serb Army. It also effectively put an end to the widespread denials of war crimes committed during the wars that were waged between 1991 and 1994. I also believe the “intent” part is becoming harder and harder to prove. Mass atrocities crimes are still not unthinkable, also nor has the world created a legal architecture capable of deterring other authoritarian leaders who are among the main perpetrators of contemporary crimes against humanity. The most important aspect of the comparison between genocide and crimes against