Understanding the elements of genocide

With examples of genocides committed throughout history, the author tries to, criticize the way the international community especially the courts have continued to regard cases associated to the killing of innocent people, the author thus argues that, the courts provide the best mechanisms for applying what the author calls the tools of reason, in judging any act of injustice against humanity. In this situation Reason should use the given laws as tools to fight genocide or other hate related injustices. What the author proposes is, joining both philosophy and reason in this fight.

Simon (2007) states that law for long has made it possible for the jurists to apply both reason and ethics in fighting injustice through international public law, which recognizes war crimes, crime against humanity and genocide as injustices against humanity. Also in this book a great account of what constitute genocide is provided, according to the author mass killing is the main act that defines genocide. He father states cogently ways in which we ought to interpret the laws of genocide. For instance according to criminal law, prosecutors rely on act and intent.

However Simon (2007) argues, “that since the element for the crime of genocide includes act and intent, but international Jurists add or perhaps specify more explicitly, some additional ingredients as well. Besides Act and intent we propose that for the crime of genocide, prosecutors need to prove beyond Something about motive, victims and perpetrators” (pg 4) What the author argues is that rather than prosecute the architects of this injustice based on criminal laws, international laws are needed to prosecute, this perpetrators.

This laws if implemented need to specify the elements of genocide as consisting of victims, motive, and perpetrators. Victims are the targeted group while; the motive is what prompts either the government organizations or religious groups to commit the atrocious act of this injustice. The perpetrators are the pioneers or the architects of the crime. Given the numerous acts of genocide committed in 20th century, the author tries to ascertain that for any justice to be achieved for the survivors and victims of any form of genocide, the international community need to take seriously the implements constituting this barbaric act.

Also Simon further argues that the international community has always treated genocide as an act of individual responsibility, in that ,the courts have  only been prosecuting individuals who are believed to have committed the atrocities, however the author argues that by prosecuting individuals only, the international community fail to destroy the core aspect of genocide since according to him genocide is based on organizational policies but not individual motive “organizational and not individuals are the primary agents of the crime of genocide.

”(Simon,2007, 4). Thus he argues that, by allowing organizations to go scoot free after committing such crimes ,the international community has enabled the organizations to continue wreaking havoc ,even after some of its members have been charged. Thus the author argues that, the international community need to have a common understanding of genocide if it’s to establish a global ethics and legal order.

It’s the statement of the author that only the Nuremberg tribunal was able to convict any organization responsible for genocide, in that it completely illegalized and disbanded the notorious Nazi organization. However since then no individual organization has been convicted. For instance in the late 90’s Rwandans slaughtered each other based on ethnic affiliations. Despite thousands of people having been killed, the organizations have not been tried, living some militias affiliated to the groups to continue the atrocities.

Thus the author finally defines the elements of genocide as including, the criminal act, which is the massive killing of individuals, criminal intent which is based on organizational policies of a group, motive which is the hatred that an institution harbors, the victims which are the individuals or the groups targeted and finally the criminal agent which is the principle organization intending to perpetrate the criminal act.

Based on this, the author argues that the international laws concerning genocide should be modeled on those aspects rather than on just intent and act. By so doing the international community will thus, be able to confront genocide with laws which ensure, that the perpetrators are brought into book be it national government, organizations or religious groups. The author again tries to show disparities in the international criminal court popularly known as for prosecuting acts of genocide.

According to the author, the ICC headquarter enjoys tremendous financial backing whereas its subsidiary in Tanzania is marred by lack of proper mechanisms. This according to the author sends a message of lack of international commitment to eradicate the vices of hatred against minorities and underprivileged groups. However the establishment of such courts and tribunals according to the author is a right step towards the progress of humanity and development of justice and order.