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"Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea": An investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for genocide

Description:

This paper discusses a research investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for genocide. This paper focuses on doctrinal controversies and examines how genocide is and has been addressed by modern tribunals, with special emphasis on the subjective mens rea (mental element) required for genocide.

Creator(s):
Creation Date: March 30, 2006
Partner(s):
UNT Honors College
Collection(s):
UNT Scholarly Works
Usage:
Total Uses: 1,420
Past 30 days: 27
Yesterday: 2
Creator (Author):
Jung, Andrew M.

University of North Texas

Creator (Contributor):
King, Kimi L.

University of North Texas; Faculty Mentor

Publisher Info:
Place of Publication: [Denton, Texas]
Date(s):
  • Creation: March 30, 2006
Description:

This paper discusses a research investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for genocide. This paper focuses on doctrinal controversies and examines how genocide is and has been addressed by modern tribunals, with special emphasis on the subjective mens rea (mental element) required for genocide.

Degree:
Department: Political Science
Department: Honors College
Note:

Abstract: Genocide has been described as “the Crime of Crimes” and has been a plague imposed from one society onto another as long as societies have existed. Even though genocide perpetration has a long history, prosecution of genocide as a crime under international criminal law is a relatively novel idea. Genocide, as codified, has two distinct elements: theactus reus, or physical actions that constitute the crime; and the mens rea, or the mental state of the perpetrator. Although these physical actions are easy to define and analyze, the mental element is nebulous and has been subject to widely varying interpretations. Through examination of UN tribunal cases, as well as through interviews with actors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, I examined the concept of genocidal mens rea and how it has been interpreted and applied in trials. I have found that the Command Responsibility and Joint Criminal Enterprise doctrines are being used frequently in genocide cases, but contradict the specific intent necessary for the crime. Additionally, these doctrines are being used in some of the highest profile cases at the ICTY, yet main tribunal actors remain unsure as to their proper use and scope. I argue that unless these doctrines are managed properly, the mens rea requirement of genocide will be circumvented, and “the Crime of Crimes” degrades into another problematic legal issue that lacks the clarity and sound jurisprudence necessary to be effective both as a tool of future international tribunals and a deterrent to future crimes.

Note:

Third Annual University Scholars Day, 2006, Denton, Texas, United States.

Physical Description:

21 p.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): genocide | mass atrocities | crimes
Source: The Eagle Feather, 2006, Denton: University of North Texas. Honors College
Contributor(s):
Series Title: University Scholars Day
Partner:
UNT Honors College
Collection:
UNT Scholarly Works
Relation (Is Version Of): "Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea": An investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for genocide [Presentation], ark:/67531/metadc86879
Identifier:
  • DOI: 10.12794/tef.2006.211 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc84320
Resource Type: Paper
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
Citation:
Publication Title: The Eagle Feather
Issue: 2012
Volume: 9
Peer Reviewed: Yes