The paper analyses the concept of ethnic cleansing, and tackles the question whether ethnic cleansing can at the same time refer to genocide. The analysis is rendered difficult by the fact that although most legislations follow to the letter the definition of genocide laid down in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the concept of genocide and the interpretation of its features remains largely disputed. Furthermore, international law lacks an official definition or incrimination of ethnic cleansing, while both terms are often used uncritically for political purposes. The issue of the relationship between ethnic cleansing and genocide is particularly relevant in the context of the Croatian legal system, considering that, unlike international sources, the Croatian Criminal Code extends the concept of genocide to forced removal of population with the special intent to destroy, completely or partially, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Despite the fact that, under certain conditions, activities underlying ethnic cleansing may be likened to genocide, it should be noted that genocide is characterised by the intention to destroy, which is not necessarily present with ethnic cleansing. This is why these two terms should not automatically be considered as identical, even though they may overlap in practice. De lege ferenda, explicit incrimination of activities of forced removal of population as genocide should preferably be abandoned in order for the Croatian legislation and court practice to be in line with international standards.
|Translated title of the contribution||Ethnic cleansing as a form of genocide? Croatian legislation and practice in view of international sources|
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||Zbornik Pravnog Fakulteta u Zagrebu|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2011|
- Crime against humanity
- Ethnic cleansing
- Intent to destroy