Sunday, December 7, 2008

60th Anniversary of the Genocide Convention

December 9th marks the 60th anniversary of the Convention to Prevent and Punish the Crime of Genocide.  The convention defined the crime of genocide (Völkermord) for the first time in an international treaty.  The word "genocide" had been coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew whose work laid the foundation for the Genocide Convention.  He first used the word in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress.  Click here to read more (in German) from Swiss Radio DRS.  The crime of genocide is the most serious crime in international law.

The United States signed the Genocide Convention in 1948 but did not become a party to it until 40 years later, in 1988.

Hat tip to Professor Ann Lousin of The John Marshall Law School.


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