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Browsing by Author "Ihalainen, Merja"

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  • Ihalainen, Merja (2018)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat – Abstract Second World War and the subsequent Nuremberg Trial and national prosecutions against those responsible for the horrendous crimes left its mark to the history of international law. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) was adopted not long after the Nuremberg legacy and was applauded with loud cheers of “Never again!”, which is still today embedded to Articles of the Genocide Convention. However, recent atrocities in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and now in Myanmar, have turned the “Never again” into “Yet again?”. Although the crisis in Myanmar has been a concurrent theme in the UN organs though the years, the crisis is still today unsolved. Currently, there are approximately 1,000,000 refugees in neighbouring state Bangladesh, and the Fact-Finding Mission, established by the Human Rights Council, estimated in its Report that up to 10,000 deaths have taken place in the violence against the Muslim Rohingya. Rohingya is an ethno-religious term defining Muslim people residing in the borderline area of Arakan or Rakhine State in Western Myanmar. The Rohingya have been under persecution several decades. First large-scale campaign against them was launched in 1978 and it continued when the military junta in Myanmar (then Burma) passed the 1982 Citizenship Law, pursuant to which the Rohingya became, de facto, stateless. More recent violence that started in 2017 have led to numerous attacks, where villages were destroyed, mass arsons committed, men and boys killed, and woman and girls raped. This has been all conducted by the military and security forces of Myanmar. The Genocide Convention contains an obligation under which the states have an obligation to prevent and punish genocide. Since the atrocities of the 1990’s, the establishment of the ad hoc tribunals the ICTY and the ICTR, the establishment of ICC and the much-debated judgement of the ICJ relating to the Balkan genocide, the development of international criminal law has accelerated from the early days of the Genocide Convention. Different kinds of early warning signs to mass atrocities have been recognized, doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has been established, and the paths to judicial tribunals have emerged both for the individual liability of the perpetrators and state responsibility. This has not, however, stopped genocide from happening. A closer look will reveal that no matter from what corner the crime of genocide is examined or viewed, politics are there. The governments of states seem to avoid using the term genocide to a certain point, mostly for the fear that it would invoke obligations to prevent and protect. Also, the Genocide Convention does not entail any operational dimension as regards to what measures are considered preventive. When examining the R2P and its content as regards to more coercive measures, the UN Security Council is in charge of authorization of any action. This means that the power is, ultimately, on the permanent members of the UN Security Council through their veto rights. Punishment has a preventive effect, as well, because of its element of deterrence. However, this means that the perpetrators must be brought to court effectively. Any non-ratification, or non-party status to the ICC, alongside with reservations made to Article IX of the Genocide Convention creates problems with the aspect of punishment. This Thesis will examine the above-mentioned issues in more detailed way by systemizing the legal framework relating to genocide and studying the reasons that affect to the prevention of genocide in a debilitative way. All in all, it is unbearable both for the victims and the international community if no action is being made, as it sends the message to the perpetrators that everything is allowed. That will lead to the situation, where stopping genocide is impossible.