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Breitwieser-Faria, Y (2020). Prevention of Atrocity Crimes: Legal Obligations of States and Due Diligence. German Yearbook of International Law, 63(1), 451-479. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.63.1.451
Breitwieser-Faria, Yvonne (2020). "Prevention of Atrocity Crimes: Legal Obligations of States and Due Diligence" German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 63no. 1, 2020 pp. 451-479. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.63.1.451
Breitwieser-Faria, Y (2020). Prevention of Atrocity Crimes: Legal Obligations of States and Due Diligence. German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 63 (Issue 1), pp 451-479. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.63.1.451

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Prevention of Atrocity Crimes: Legal Obligations of States and Due Diligence

Breitwieser-Faria, Yvonne

German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 63 (2020), Iss. 1 : pp. 451–479

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Yvonne Breitwieser-Faria, Mag. iur. (University of Vienna); LL.M. (University of Vienna); PhD Candidate, TC Beirne School of Law and the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, The University of Queensland.

Abstract

The conceptualisation of States’ obligations for atrocity prevention, legal and otherwise, has gained increasing momentum as atrocity crimes across the world continue to make seemingly endless headlines. While some States acknowledge that they incur a duty to prevent atrocity crimes; the source, scope, and nature of any legal atrocity prevention obligations remain largely unexplored and controversial. Any extraterritorial dimension to this end is subject to much debate. The International Court of Justice identified such an obligation regarding genocide to be one of due diligence, but its scope remains ambiguous and somewhat unspecific. This paper determines applicable due diligence obligations vis-à-vis atrocity crimes. It argues that States incur not-territorially-limited due diligence obligations for atrocity prevention arising from existing international treaty and customary law. States are thereby required to take reasonable measures to prevent the commission of atrocity crimes in their own territories, and in certain circumstances beyond their borders, as far as possible. The jurisprudence of human rights bodies concerning suppression and positive obligations in international human rights and humanitarian law further supports such atrocity prevention obligations. The paper ends with an examination of possible operational prevention methods to fulfil States’ obligations of atrocity prevention.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Yvonne Breitwieser-Faria\nPrevention of Atrocity Crimes: Legal Obligations of States and Due Diligence 451
I. Introduction 451
II. The Foundation of Legal Obligations for Atrocity Prevention 455
A. The Legal Obligation to Prevent Genocide 456
B. The Legal Obligation to Prevent War Crimes 458
C. The Legal Obligation to Prevent Crimes Against Humanity 451
III. International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Considerations 451
A. Suppression Obligations 451
B. Positive Obligations 451
1. In Human Rights Law 451
2. In International Humanitarian Law 452
IV. Due Diligence and Operational Prevention Methods in Atrocity Prevention 452
V. Conclusion 452