LAW AND GENOCIDE
(LAWH-4022) - 2 UNITS
The current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations has called the last century the "Age of Genocide". Why does the massive scale of atrocities dwarf the comparatively sparse amount of litigation? This course explores the conundrum by tracing the crime of genocide back to its founding legal document and the first human rights treaty of modern times -- the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide -- motivated by the horrors of the Holocaust.
Students will receive a comprehensive view of the entire field of genocide law, as well as an in-depth look into the paper topic of their choice. Guest speakers, including legal practitioners, scholars, and genocide survivors, will share their expertise and testimonials throughout the semester. Among the topics studied are civil reparations for survivors and their heirs from the Armenian, Jewish, and Guatemalan genocides. Further, we examine the movement toward greater criminal liability for genocide at the international tribunals in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Cambodia. Finally, we explore possible avenues for genocide litigation and emerging cases against the Assad regime and ISIS for the ongoing atrocities in Syria.