What do you think is the best definition of genocide? Justify your answer in relation to the scholarship and arguments that have most influenced your thinking. Genocide is a term defined by legal, scholar and social professionals in vastly different views ranging from board to narrow. The trail to adequately define this complex act has dominated discussions and debates since the term’s development in 1943 by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in his publication Axis Rule in Occupied Europe 1944. By reading and analysing various definitions Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn definition published The History and Sociology of Genocide, 1990 remains the most relative explanation for the crime of genocide, in my opinion. Slightly modified to include not only mass killing but serious bodily harm and mental harm I define the act of genocide as such; ‘Genocide is a form of a one-sided mass killing, serious bodily harm or mental harm in which a state or other authority intents to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are define by the perpetrator.’ Key components defining genocide as I see it within this definition relates firstly to the idea of a group, how it is perceived and by who. Secondly the concept of intent, how it can be proven and why it is the key to prevent genocide. Thirdly approaching what acts are determined as genocide and the idea of one-sided destruction. Lastly discussing how each potential case of genocide is highly diverse and all are changed and modified situations. The United Nations currently recognise the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted in December 1948. Within this convention Article 2 states that: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group;
b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c)...
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