The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948)
1. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), the Convention applies to treaties between states.
2. The Preamble enshrines the recognition of genocide as a crime that must be eradicated from the world within the conceptual framework of the Convention. The atrocities of history are declared as evidence of the substantial impact that genocide has had on humanity and to prevent these atrocities international co-operation is required.
3. Articles I and II, Article I which recognises genocide as an international crime in “time of peace or in time of war” which states undertake to “prevent” and “punish”. Article II defines the crime of genocide specifying “an intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.
4. Article IV through to Article IX; in particular Article V directs states to enact the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Convention outlined in Articles I, II and III. Article VIII also provides for states to call upon the United Nations (UN) to take action for the prevention and suppression of the acts enumerated in Article III. While Article VI enshrines the role of tribunals in punishing the crime of genocide and hence enforcing Articles I, II and III.
5. Articles X and XI, the Convention was open for signature on 9 December 1948 until 31 December 1949, on behalf of any Member of the UN and of any non-member State to which an invitation to sign had been addressed by the General Assembly.
6. Article V asserts that states must enact the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Convention.
7. Article XI, after 1 January 1950 the Convention may be acceded to, the legal implications of accession have the same effect as those ensuing from signature and ratification as the text of the Convention does not provide that the implications of each will differ.
8. Reservations are not specified in the Convention, however under Article 19 of the Vienna Convention states may nonetheless make a reservation which adheres to these guidelines (Scott 2010, p. 149). States must ensure particularly that, reservations are compatible with the object and purpose of the treaty.
9. Article XIV states that denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the UN. Article XV further delineates that if as a result of denunciations the number of Parties to the Convention becomes less than sixteen the Convention will cease to be in force.
10. Article XIV, the Convention would remain in effect for a period of ten years from the date of its coming into force. After this period the Convention would remain in force for successive periods of five years for Contacting Parties who have not denounced the Convention.
11. Under Article IX, disputes between the Contracting Parties with regard to the fulfilment of the Convention shall...