The notion of intention in the definition of genocide

The purpose of this work is to expose the two main interpretations about the intention in the crime of genocide: to) as special intention and, b) as knowledge, being the first more restrictive than the second. The «knowledge» theory have had an important development in the last decades as pointing out a) one some interpretation of the «means read» that would include the knowledge or the forecast of the consequences of the action; b) the process of writing of the Convention of 1948 does not offer a clear and unambiguous support of the interpretation of the intention as «special intention»; c) the procedural and practical implications of the interpretation based in the knowledge that allows to expand the field of the eventual perpetrors of genocide. Nevertheless, I have tried to show that the interpretation based in the special intention is more suitable since it seems to adjust better to the will of the legislators of the Convention of 1948, its practical consequences are reasonable and its evidentiary difficulties are not so demanding with regard to the «knowledge» theory.

José Luis Pérez Triviño

genocide; intention;

REDI Vol. LXIV 2 2012



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