The Conventional Definition of Genocide




crime of genocide, Genocide Convention, international criminal law, legal theory


This work comprehensively analyzes the legal definition of genocide.  In so doing, it details the material and mental conditions that can lead to an individual’s punishment for the commission of the crime of genocide.  Further, it addresses some of the difficulties that have arisen when interpreting and applying the legal rule. To this end, this work starts by presenting the basic structure of the crime of genocide, and also the goals of its legal prohibition.  It then concentrates on the material element (actus reus) of genocide, placing emphasis on two difficulties; namely, the notion of the group, and how to identify the four protected groups.  In addition, the conduct prohibited by the Convention is detailed. This work then focuses on the mental element (mens rea) of the crime, examining each term from the Convention’s formulation separately in order to better assess the concept of specific intent. This work then considers the meaning of article 30 from the ICC Statute. Ultimately, this work details the conventional definition of genocide and reveals some of the main interpretative challenges associated with it.

Author Biography

  • Stearns Broadhead, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University

    Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Philosophy, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy


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How to Cite

The Conventional Definition of Genocide. (2024). Institutiones Administrationis - Journal of Administrative Sciences, 4(1), 90-102.