Jumping Hurdles Backwards: The Armenian Genocide and the International Criminal Court


  • Author: Dov Jacobs
  • Source: International Criminal Law Review,Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 274 – 290
  • Subjects: Human Rights & Humanitarian Law
  • Publication Year : 2014


This article discusses whether the International Criminal Court (ICC) could be considered as a possible avenue to address the Armenian Genocide. In light of the jurisdictional limits of the Court, it is argued that it is unlikely that it will ever be a suitable forum in this respect. Indeed, not only are the alleged perpetrators all deceased, but the ICC does not have retroactive jurisdiction. Moreover, it might be the case that some factual aspects of the events might make the crimes against humanity characterisation more adequate. The article concludes with a discussion of the necessity of accepting the limitations of law, notably criminal law, in addressing past events of such magnitude. Ignorance of these limitations makes the operation of trying to get the ICC to address the issue akin to the impossible task of jumping hurdles backwards.

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