The issue of mens rea in the crime of genocide and 
 why it needs to be amended

Authors: Chanthima Neth Published date: 15-01-2019 Status: Published

Summary. For the Crime of Genocide, mens rea plays a significant role. The two assessed criminal cases—Goran Jelisić and Momčilo Krajišnick—demonstrate the difficulty in proving the level of intent as a means of convicting genocide criminals. Special intent is hard to prove in the court of law, and perpetrators can disguise genocidal acts to avoid conviction. The systematic genocidal violence aimed at the Rohingya population in Myanmar also shows the difficulty in proving special intent. It is recommended that the revision proposed by Alexander Greenawalt, that both the meaning and interpretation of intent from ‘purpose-based’ to ‘knowledge-based’ perspective, is necessary. More importantly, the paper suggests steps which can potentially bring these atrocities to an end, inlcuding labelling them what they are, a ‘genocide.’

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COPYRIGHT: © The UK Law and Society Association, 2019