Cultural aspects of the crime of genocide Cover Image

Kulturowy wymiar zbrodni ludobójstwa
Cultural aspects of the crime of genocide

Author(s): Anna Głogowska-Balcerzak
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Łódzkie Towarzystwo Naukowe
Keywords: genocide; cultural genocide; minority rights; international crimes

Summary/Abstract: This paper examines cultural aspects of the crime of genocide. Although the concept of cultural genocide was rejected by the drafters of Genocide Convention in 1948, the notion appears from time to time in international discourse. It was associated with colonization process and forced assimilation of indigenous people, however some commentators also use it to describe policies of modern states towards minority groups living on their territories. International framework for the protection of minorities and indigenous people can be seen as a substitute for the legal concept of cultural genocide, however the scope of the protection offered by these two areas – international criminal law and human rights law – is substantially different. Yet, cultural considerations play a subsidiary role within binding understanding of genocide, which is reflected in the jurisprudence of ad hoc criminal tribunals, as they help to establish the specific, genocidal intent and to define the outlines of the groups protected. Supporters of the notion point out, that cultural genocide can perform another important role – evidence of cultural genocide should be treated as an early warning that can contribute to prevention of mass atrocities. This is especially important in the light of recent development of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. To conclude, the international crime of genocide will probably remain limited to the physical and biological dimension, as there is no will of states to expand the notion, however its cultural aspects should not be neglected.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 89
  • Page Range: 79-97
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Polish