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April 29, 2022


Date: 17-19 June 2022

Coordinator: Professor William Schabas, Professor of International Law, Middlesex University, School of Law, UK

Short description: The course will provide a thorough overview of the international law applicable to the crime of genocide. It will review the development of the crime, the history of the negotiations of the 1948 Convention and more recent developments such as incorporation of the crime in the Rome Statute. The relationship with crimes against humanity will be examined. The course will also consider the duty to prevent genocide and its relationship with the responsibility to protect. The definition will be examined in detail, including the specific intent, the protected groups and the punishable acts. Other provisions of the Convention will also be examined. Use of the term ‘genocide’ to deal with historic atrocities will be examined. The analysis will rely largely upon case law of the ad hoc tribunals, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. The course will also consider efforts to enlarge the scope of the crime and debates about use of the term in a range of situations, including Ukraine, Syria, Myanmar, Xinjiang (China), Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. Participants in the course will gain a familiarisation with the main controversies as well as with the major sources applicable to the crime, the case law, the travaux préparatoires, and the secondary literature.


Professor William Schabas, Professor of International Law, Middlesex University, School of Law, UK.

Professor Schabas is the author of one of the major monographs on the subject, Genocide in International Law. He has appeared as counsel in genocide cases at the International Court of Justice and the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

Dr. Guénaël Mettraux, Judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers; Professor of Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr. Marko Milanovic, Professor of Public International Law, University of Nottingham School of Law, UK


Origins of the Genocide Convention, proposals for amendment, distinction with crimes against humanity

Specific intent, protected groups, quantitative dimension

Treaty law issues, role of customary law

Genocide and indigenous peoples

Punishable acts

Participation in the crime of genocide

Genocide litigation at the International Court of Justice

Registration deadline:  June 13, 2022