This thesis aimed at studying the roles played by the international community in the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide under international law. In other words the research work deals with the roles of the international criminal tribunal/ courts in the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide under international law. The justification of this research work arose out of the need to confront Genocidal crimes of recent times and also the ones committed in the past for deterrence purposes through investigation, prosecution and punishing of those responsible for such crimes. However in the course of this research a major finding (among others) is that the provisions of the Convention are far from being adequate to cure the challenges that arose in international practice posed to the Convention, in the course of the implementation of the convention coupled with fact that there is no clear, direct and effective judicial response to the prevention and punishment of the crime of Genocide, because there is no nexus between the Convention and the State parties in combating the crime of Genocide. This finding clearly constituted a major problem of this research work. In this regard therefore the objective is to identify the reasons accounting for the poor implementation of the Genocide Convention in practice vis a vis the adequacy or otherwise of the provisions of the convention in international law. Thus, in view of these events this research is concluded by recommending that in order to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and also in an attempt to prevent the crime of genocide there should be in place an effective legal mechanism to enforce implementation at all levels (i.e local and international). The sources of information relied upon for this research are relevant text materials, international instruments, Journals (both local and International), judicial authorities and internet materials.
1.1 Background of the Study
Genocide as an experience of human behavior throughout history is old, but our concern and understanding about it are relatively new. Humans have probably been committing genocide since the beginning of our species.1 Killing in mass and committing crimes against other human groups is not new to human history. Human groups have considered, and unfortunately still consider genocide as a viable political course of action, contemplating the intentional destruction of other groups national, ethnic, racial or religious, in whole or in part, in such a way as defined by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
However, it is only in recent years that we have come to acknowledge genocide more systematically, trying to articulate understandings that were simply unavailable to our ancestors. There was a long delay in recognizing genocide as a crime despite its recurrence throughout human history. As a human race, we did not even have a name to describe genocidal violence before the World War II when Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide.3” Until then, it was a crime without a name in the words of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The systematic mass murder of millions of people in the Holocaust, however, forced us to recognize that humans were killing other humans in systematic ways, with the intent to destroy groups in whole or in part, with terrifying results4.