MENTAL AND MATERIAL ELEMENTS OF GENOCIDE

Sandra Fabijanić Gagro

Abstract


The crime of genocide is one of the most severe crimes. Its commission always takes time, requires planning, and results in substantial human sacrifices. It is never a single or accidental act but always conscious and deliberate. The commitment of genocide requires performing one of the acts (actus reus) enumerated in the 1948 Genocide Convention and perpetrated specifically against the members of a protected group, which represents the material element of the crime. However, the element that makes genocide one of the worst crimes ever known to humankind is the perpetrator’s special intention of destroying a protected group – the mental element of the crime, i.e., dolus specialis, whose complexity and severity has been confirmed before the international criminal ad hoc tribunals and the ICJ.


Keywords


genocide, actus reus, dolus specialis, individual responsibility, ICTY, ICTR

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