From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Intent to destroy" missing from lede – proposal to add[edit]

One of the most common misuses of term genocide in the media is ignorance or amnesia with respect to the "intent" part of the definition. The naive understanding is that, if a genocidal doesn't annihilate a group, that it somehow was "not genocide". For example, someone might believe, "Because there are Native Americans alive today, the United States did not eliminate all the Native American population, therefore the U.S.A. cannot be guilty of genocide against the Native Americans." This logic is incorrect, as the definition shows; the burden of proving genocide is to prove the intent to destroy… which is quite different than total destruction. I move that we should specifically include the word "intent" in the lede, as its a key part of the definition and is probably the most commonly misunderstood aspect of genocide among non-scholars. Objections / dissent? - Jm3 / 13:55, November 17, 2015‎ (UTC)

this is now done. - Jm3 / 01:58, November 26, 2015‎ (UTC)

The term genocide was coined in response the Armenian Genocide ?[edit]

This sentence seems dubious "The term genocide was coined in response the Armenian Genocide", the OED gives the origin of the term as 1940's. The first source says "..when Raphael Lemkin coined the word genocide in 1944 he cited the 1915 annihilation of Armenians as a seminal example of genocide". Taking 29 years to coin a term hardly qualifies as 'a response', neither is citing the 'Armenian Genocide' as an example, the same as coining the term as 'a response' I know the sources refer to attempts by Lemkin to get 'crimes against groups', recognised before 1944, but if no published use of the term existed before 1944, the term simply did not exist before then.

Another source used states explicitly "in the course of his monumental study Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, the late Raphael Lemkin coined the word genocide - from the Greek genos (race or tribe) and the Latin cide (killing) - to describe the deliberate destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group. The concept was catching, and in December 1946 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution recognizing genocide as a crime under international law … … Axis Rule in Occupied Europe doesn't sound much like 'the Armenian Genocide'! Pincrete (talk) 00:14, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Indeed, that struck me as being a change in contravention to WP:NOR. The history and background of Lemkin's interests are WP:OFFTOPIC for the scope of this article (and can be argued out on his bio, or on the definitions of genocide article), but the only matter of concern here is that it was coined by him, then adopted by the UN. No, the Axis Rule was certainly not the recognition of the term on the strength of a genocide which took place over 20 years earlier. To draw such a conclusion is WP:SYNTH and should be omitted. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:33, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I feel that perhaps the best course of action here is for any editor who has the time (not me at the moment, I'm afraid) to read Axis Rule in Occupied Europe and to see what Lemkin said therein about the origin of the term. Specifically, did he describe its coinage as being (akin to) a response to the Armenian genocide, or not? If so, then this should be cited in the article. If not, then that part of the article should perhaps be rewritten appropriately. zazpot (talk) 01:36, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I actually came here precisely to clarify when/how the term was coined and was a bit surprised by the claim and agree that it is SYNTH. I wasn't sufficiently certain of the true picture to make the edit myself at that time. I also agree that precisely how Lemkin evolved his views over many years is a detail for the biog page. 'Armenia' is an example of the newly coined term, one of a number I believe in his book, but the term was not coined as 'a response' to Armenia. Unless there were an absolutely unequivocal statement from Lemkin that it was such a response, we have to go with what 2ndary sources are saying, which is that it was an example.
I'm prepared to try and make the edit, however what I'm a bit unsure of at present is where Nazi racial policies in occupied Europe, and specifically the holocaust fit into the 'coinage' narrative, (ie were these the primary subject of Lemkin's book, which the book title suggests, were they also examples, if not how did they fit into Lemkin's account?). Alternatively we could simply avoid characterising ANY relationship between Lemkin's coinage and these events/policies. Pincrete (talk) 16:40, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I have tried to clarify this. It is important that Lemkin's motivation to dedicate his whole life to working against mass murder is mentionned. Power makes it clear that he was motivated by his observation of the Holocaust as well. Philippe Sands book gives even more reference to this. I have tried to reduce the books to those most directly related to Lemkin's motivation. Joel Mc (talk) 12:10, 7 February 2017 (UTC) p. 77 in "Axis Rule.." is but one example of the influence of Nazi mass murders on him. Joel Mc (talk) 12:22, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
There is little doubt that what you say is true about Lemkin's 'life work', which went beyond 'physical' destruction of peoples, to encompass intentional 'cultural' destruction. However that kind of detail probably belongs on 'his' article, and the book article. What is relevant here is the meaning and genesis of the term, expressed accurately and succinctly. Pincrete (talk) 15:39, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Fine, but, to be clear, I would not agree to "simply avoid characterising ANY relationship between Lemkin's coinage and these events/policies." Joel Mc (talk) 18:12, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
A significant part of Lemkin's book, the part mainly concerned with genocide, is here. Pincrete (talk) 20:46, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I thought that I had made it clear above that I would not agree not to link Lemkin's motivation for work on genocide. I have returned the Armenians and added the Nazis. Joel Mc (talk) 09:50, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Joel Mc, I don't object to your edits on first look, since they relate to Lemkin's lifelong interests (which are RS'd ), rather than to coinage of the term, which is much more blurred, but which is clearly in a book about Nazi policies. A detail is that other mass murders, apart from 'Armenian', were also referred to by Lemkin in that book. I hope we agree about the context of coinage, but that no specific event(s) led solely, directly to the coinage. Pincrete (talk) 12:02, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm still unhappy about the wording of the lead, which still implies that the word was coined to describe Armenian killings. Can we agree that the word was coined in a book describing Nazi practices/policies in occupied Europe (many of these events and practices have since acquired their own terms, such as Holocaust, but Lemkin does not use these terms nor identify/classify the specific events in the way that they have been classified post-WWII).
Lemkin's book cites examples from history including 'Armenia', other 'Ottoman' massacres, Tsarist and E. European pogroms etc..
Lemkin had a lifelong interest in crimes against peoples, which he himself attributes to learning about the Armenian killings as a young man in the late 1920's, an interest which he pursued through other mass actions against peoples.
I believe all three of these is true and RS'd, what I don't accept is that the word was coined specifically to describe 'Armenia', nor indeed any specific event(s), though the strongest contender would have to be 'Nazi crimes'. Pincrete (talk) 14:43, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I have no problem in changing the second para in the lede, how about: "The term genocide was coined in response to mass murder of populations in the 20th century, ranging from that of the Armenians beginning in 1915 and to the mass murders in Nazi controlled Europe.” Added info for background: Lemkin referred to the Armenian issue with respect to creating the concept later referred as genocide in talks and lectures he gave at and around Duke University, 1941-2 in North Carolina. (Sands, Philippe (2016). East West Street : on the origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity”. Chapter 72) He also referred to the Armenian events in his article in the American Scholar (Volume 15, no. 2 (April 1946), p. 227-230) Joel Mc (talk) 20:28, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I have a simpler suggestion, but it's late now and my brain hurts! On a side-note, I found several other articles claiming/implying that those incidents solely prompted coinage of the term! Pincrete (talk) 22:44, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
92slim please read (and join) this discussion. Sources do not state that Lemkin 'coined the term in response' to any single event, and you can't equate Lemkin's use of 'Nazi war crimes in Europe' with the Holocaust, since he is referring to many war crimes OTHER than even the broader use of 'Holocaust' (ie including Roma etc). Lemkin is clear that what was being done to the Jews and to Poles, Russians and other E. Europeans was more brutal than what was happening in W. Europe, but the book is about ALL 'crimes against peoples' in occupied Europe and the term was coined in a book about those crimes. Lemkin did become interested in the subject initially because of hearing about Armenia, and he does cite Armenia (and several other examples) as 'classic examples' but he coined the term nearly twenty years after first becoming interested in what happened in Armenia and in a different context. Let's find a way to represent all this clearly and succinctly. Pincrete (talk) 22:50, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
92slim can't join the discussion due to being blocked. But I agree with you. El_C 22:55, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
@Pincrete:, @El C: Note, I'm only here because I've been editing at Armenian Genocide and Armenian Genocide denial lately and am not taking a stance here either way, but various sources do state that he coined it mostly due to witnessing the Armenian Genocide. I can't access his autobiography through my University but it's supposedly on page 19-20. When Lemkin coined it the full scale of the Holocaust was not yet common knowledge, but he was obviously already drawing parellels. Example from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: "The origin of the term genocide and its codification in international law have their roots in the mass murder of Armenians in 1915–16. Lawyer Raphael Lemkin, the coiner of the word and later its champion at the United Nations, repeatedly stated that early exposure to newspaper stories about Ottoman crimes against Armenians was key to his beliefs about the need for legal protection of groups (a core element in the UN Genocide Convention of 1948)." Bataaf van Oranje (Prinsgezinde) (talk) 10:39, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

I think it is widely recognised that Lemkin's interest in the subject of 'crimes against peoples' was first aroused by various incidents, notably Armenia. But the term was not coined in respomse to that event. nor any single event, but the context of coinage is 'WWII crimes' (and not specifically those against Jews, nor against E Europe).

There are several 'historical' (ie pre-WWII) examples given in Lemkin's book, inc Armenia and various C19th pogroms. Many WP articles, on the basis of being given by Lemkin as examples, claimed to be the origin of the term. I'm afraid NONE of them are. Pincrete (talk) 11:11, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

It's an interesting subject for discussion, however, for the purposes of this article, trying to draw our own conclusions remains OR and SYNTH. I think this line of inquiry should be terminated on the article's talk page. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:59, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
If you read law review, they dont care about anything before it was defined as a crime. Makes things easier. Seraphim System (talk) 22:46, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Lemkin did not invent genocide, he coined a new term for already existing acts. An act of genocide would have been a crime under existing laws before the term genocide was coined and defined as a crime. For example, it was the opinion of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal in its examination of the Armenian Genocide that the 1948 International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was formally expressing an already existing prohibition. So I think that the term "genocide" can, if sourced, be reasonably applied to all modern-era (mid to late 19th century and onward) acts of genocide (because the acts would have been prohibited by existing laws). Further back than that and any assertions of genocide would require much stronger sourcing, not just one-off claims by lobbyists or activists. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:20, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not 'law review' or any other single RS. It's not our objective to 'make things easier' according to one editor's POV. Who are you aiming at making the subject of genocide 'easier' for? Please read WP:IDONTLIKEIT carefully. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:57, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
@Iryna Harpy: @Tiptoethrutheminefield: Do you know what law review is? There are many articles on Wikipedia, on many different topics. This is a law article. My response to WP:IDONTLIKEIT would be that questions of inclusion or exclusion should be governed by relevance or scope of the article. I'm not sure your comment is constructive User:Iryna Harpy.
From what User talk:Tiptoethrutheminefield said above, there may be more sources to add about this. Searching HeinOnline for "genocide retroactively lemkin" yields several on-topic articles. The fact that genocide as a legal definition has been applied retroactively is not a legally trivial matter, and has been discussed in several law review articles.
When trying to make a difficult, technical subject accessible or "easier" for readers I rely on the best sources I have available. For law articles, I use mostly HeinOnline and Oxford Law - these sources make my job as an editor easier, because these sources are specialized for the subject I am working on (including Oxford Law Citator). I also share resources! - Would you like to help me add this information to the article? - I can send you the articles. They are quite difficult, and I would appreciate constructive help from other editors. Seraphim System (talk) 23:20, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
I have no quibbles with improving the legal content, but how have you come to the conclusion that this is exclusively an article on law? Genocide studies is a multidisciplinary field. Disqualifying reliable sources on the subject may be your preference, but the article should not be treated as being exclusive to law. As to how you organise your approach to problematic subjects, you're free to use any system you wish to assist you as a clear thinking exercise, but that is merely your own preference. Please don't try to proscribe content according to your position. (Incidentally, I'd be more than happy to read through any legal articles you'd like to send on. The more information, the better.) --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:44, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
What do you think I am trying to disqualify? The majority of this article is about law, genocide as a crime and genocide trials - not "Genocide Studies" - there are a number of other pages for that. I see some minor sections on history and social sciences that are not a problem, though the final section should probably be linked to its main page as it seems to have been split from this article already. Seraphim System (talk) 00:09, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
If I were to set up a page Genocide (law) for example, I am concerned it would overlap significantly with this page. Is there some multidisciplinary content you would want to add to expand this page and then we could spin-out law to Genocide (law)? There is Genocide under municipal laws, but that's a different matter entirely. Also, because this page says This article is about the crime. For other uses, see Genocide (disambiguation).
ADD: @Iryna Harpy: I sent you part of an article by Yuval Shany that, in my opinon, clarifies the connection between Lemkin and the codification of genocide as a crime, and background pre-Lemkin discussion of Armenian genocide (using language "new crimes" against "humanity and civilization) Seraphim System (talk) 00:41, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Seraphim System. Received. I'll read through it in the next couple of days when I can set aside some quiet time to focus and deliberate. Yes, I agree that this article is a bit of a mix and match job. There may be some overlaps, but it doesn't preclude the creation of an article specifically dedicated to the more explicit legal definition. Defining genocide has been a long term headache for Wikipedia. If you haven't already done so, it might be worth reading some of the discussions on talk page archives such as Talk:Genocides in history. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:54, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Iryna Harpy Since another editor has already included the note This article is about the crime. For other uses, see Genocide (disambiguation). and because this change would be major and effect a lot of pages and existing links, I don't think we should decide on spinout without broader consensus. I think the law aspect of the article is in pretty good shape, but I see inconsistent citation style and bare urls in the text. If we could get it cleaned up, and refine the language in the lead origin section to reflect the comments above, and academic sources, I think it is close to GA review. Seraphim System (talk) 02:03, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Seraphim System, regarding your assertion that the subject of the article is "the crime" - Wikipedia is not a source for Wikipedia content. I see no previous discussion that decided the "about" tag should have the wording "the crime" or that this article is solely about "the crime". I have altered the tag's content to the wording used to describe this article's subject in the disambiguation page. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 02:35, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Tiptoethrutheminefield I disagree with that, and I don't think you should change it without any attempt at reaching consensus so I am reverting it. This page is about genocide, the crime - the description you chose is better suited for the history page. Seraphim System (talk) 02:49, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Tiptoethrutheminefield If the content of the page is not enough evidence for you, then I suggest opening the discussion up for broader community consensus. I would rather work on improving citation and putting the page up for GA review, without possibly disrupting a number of existing links by spinning out a law article, that would in large part replicate this article. You both want to exclude specific genocide history's from the page, while insisting it is a broader page then the existing content suggests. This would be a major change, and it needs broad community consensus and a discussion of how it would effect links on existing pages. This is the Genocide (law) page - there isn't another one, at this point, nor do I see a particular need for another one as your comment below indicates historical and other information would overburden this page. Seraphim System (talk) 02:56, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
What do you disagree with? With my assertion that there has been no previous discussion on the content of the "about" tag? Please cite that discussion if you disagree. If you disagree with the actual wording, you need to properly explain why, not just say "I disagree" or assert that it is "disrupting" your personal concept of the article. I am reverting your revert given the absence of any argument presented by you. My argument, to restate it, is the wording I have used is also the wording used to describe this article in the disambiguation page. It is also clear from the recent comments here that there is disagreement that the article should be limited to "the crime" and I see no prior discussion deciding on such a limitation. And the content of an about tag does not affect links on existing pages. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 03:02, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Evidently, the latest round of 'improvements' on the article slipped under my radar (or, to be precise, my rather hefty watchlist). What does 'about the crime' mean? Is someone trying to disambiguate the act of genocide from the Genocide Convention's criminal code? If so, it was a shocker of an attempt... --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:33, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Facepalm Facepalm Whoa, I can't believe that the hatnote has been there so long without my paying attention to it. Shame on me. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:42, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
There is absolutely no reason why this can't be a stable GA article. Reaching clear consensus about the scope of the page is part of that, I think. The fact that the hatnote was there means other editors, at some point, disagreed with the peculiar vision the two of you share for this article (that law pages are "POV" - an assertion that I find bizarre and unjustifiable.) If other editors want to open this page up to include more information, then I will create a separate page for Genocide (law). Seraphim System (talk) 03:49, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
I think I need a strong cup of tea, a Bex and a little lie-down. Seraphim System, you're welcome to open the RfC, but please take heed of the wording. At the moment it reads as WP:BATTLEGROUND. Please read WP:RFC/HOW and reformulate your argument ASAP. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:04, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Done. Seraphim System (talk) 04:10, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Native American Genocide[edit]

We plan to add to the already existing article on Genocide. We plan to add a section about Native American genocide. In this section we will discuss how genocide has been carried out against these indigenous people for hundreds of years in North America. This topic will span from early American History to modern day issues. The sources listed below are the ones we will use to build our writing. 

Andersen, Chris, and Jean M. O'Brien. Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies, edited by Chris Andersen, and Jean M. O'Brien, Taylor and Francis, 2016. ProQuest Ebook Central, Lindsay, Brendan C.. Murder State, edited by Brendan C. Lindsay, UNP - Nebraska, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central, error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).

Magliari, Michael F. "Ethnic Cleansing And The Indian: The Crime That Should Haunt America." H-Net Reviews In The Humanities & Social Sciences (2016): 1-6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).

HIXSON, WALTER L. "Policing The Past: Indian Removal And Genocide Studies." Western Historical Quarterly 47.4 (2016): 439-443. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).

Melançon, Jérôme. "Colonial Genocide In Indigenous North America." Canadian Journal Of Sociology 41.4 (2016): 565-568. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). ] (talk) 04:11, 15 February 2017 (UTC) Laurennoble (talk) 04:13, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

“Atrocities Against Native Americans” United to End Genocide. 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

Ostler, Jeffrey. “Genocide and American Indian History. Oxford Research Encyclopedias. Web. 14 Feb 2017.

Mbrennan8 (talk) 05:02, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Keep in mind that there is already an article at Genocide_of_indigenous_peoples. It may be more appropriate to add and improve the section at that article, with a brief mention here and link to the fuller article using the Template:See also, in compliance with Wikipedia's policy on WP:UNDUE weight. Happy Editing! meamemg (talk) 17:18, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Mbrennan8, I agree with Meamemg, in general I would say that there is already too much detail on this article about individual instances, which pretty much all have their own articles. The effect of specific instances occupying too much 'space' is that the overall article becomes unreadably long. Pincrete (talk) 17:30, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
There is also this article. Pincrete (talk) 20:09, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

That the Native American deaths generally meet the bar for genocide is at best debatable; the requirement of intentional destruction was not generally met. The "Genocide and American Indian History" source cited covers this in some detail. I'd suggest that the section, as-written, isn't an accurate representation of the mainstream understanding of the situation. From what I can tell, this section is a student project that has, as a thesis, that the situation was genocide...and I'm not sure that the "start with a thesis, then argue in favor of the position" is the most-reasonable way to go about covering material for an encyclopedia.

Mark7-2 (talk) 03:35, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Aside from the neutrality issue (which I don't know enough about to comment), I'm afraid that this confirms my opinion that this content would be better in a related article, where proper balance could be given to whether/by whom this is regarded as genocide. I'm sorry, but there is already too much detailed info on this page about specific occurences. This page is necessarily mainly about the concept and history of the term, legal definitions etc, linked articles explore specific events. Pincrete (talk) 20:03, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Not in this article, I think. We have the Genocides in history article for these things, plus the option of stand-alone articles if the material is suitable. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 02:45, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Albigensian Crusade[edit]

I would think the Albigensian Crusader meets the qualifications of genocide. It was an intentional and systemic course of action to wipe out all followers of Catharism in the medieval period. In fact, the person who coined the term genocide, Raphael Lemkin, stated that it was a prime example of religious genocide. The documented instances of genocide for the "Part of a Series on Genocide" fails to mention this. I don't know where to say this so I just said it on the main page for genocide. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Austrianarchduke (talkcontribs) 15:26, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Austrianarchduke, see here. I would think that it would not qualify for inclusion in 'general' lists or articles, since the description is disputed. However there might be articles where a mention, including the 'dispute', would be apt. I don't know which though! Pincrete (talk) 17:28, 25 March 2017 (UTC)


Consensus to keep the hatnote the way it is. THE DIAZ talkcontribs 14:23, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The hatnote on this page previously read This article is about the crime. For other uses, see Genocide (disambiguation). The hat note has been changed to This article is about the systematic murder or destruction of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. There is also a page Genocides in history. Should we restore the original hatnote and treat this as a law article? (Talk page discussion is at the end of this section) Seraphim System (talk) 04:09, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

A third option, the best imo, is just to remove the wording completely, retaining only the "for other uses see" part. In an earlier talk discussion, Seraphim System was using the fact that the article was tagged "This article is about the crime" as an argument that the content of this article should be about just "the crime". That was an invalid argument because Wikipedia content cannot be used as source for Wikipedia content, and, furthermore, no discussion had ever taken place deciding that the article should be about just "the crime", and no discussion at all had taken place about the content of the "about" (hatnote) tag. I have put "the crime" in inverted commas because it is not clear to me what is meant by "the crime". Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:32, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Comment Let me make it clear - Jorgic is serving a life sentence for a genocide conviction that was upheld by ECHR. The ECHR held universal jurisdiction for the crime genocide, which means any national court can try some for a genocide that was committed outside its territory. It also upheld the broad definition of genocide, in other words, under the ECHR ruling biological-physical destruction is not required. The work of legal scholars should be cited directly to them, or to a general source like Oxford Handbooks, and not represented as part of the Court's holding about an element of a crime (see WP:MOSLAW) Seraphim System (talk) 18:27, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
???What has this to do with this RfC or my above point? It is an off-topic comment, or have you posted the above in the wrong section by mistake. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:40, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
@Tiptoethrutheminefield: I will summarize my understanding of the discussion with User:Iryna Harpy yesterday, which it seems you did not read before responding. On general pages, such as this one, we do not prefer to use primary sources. WP:MOSLEGAL has certain rules in place for the use of legal primary source material that is consistent with established standards in that field. Since this page does not adhere to those guidelines, we are looking into secondary sources. Seraphim System (talk) 17:54, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Comments Why would imposing a strictly legal interpretation on a widely used concept be thought an improvement? Why would restoring the 'hatnote' be synonymous with treating the subject as though it were solely-legal, this appears to be a false argument used to try to radically alter (and in this case probably distort) an article subject. What on earth has Jorgic got to do with the ostensible subject of the RfC, ie the "hatnote". WP is a general purpose ency, it is not a legal textbook whose purpose, conventions etc may be very different. Pincrete (talk) 19:02, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Comment: Ditto on the comments made by Tiptoe and Pincrete. This article has been about 'Genocide' broadly construed since its inception. Taking a hatnote and trying to turn it into the WP:TITLE is contrary to the subject of the article. If it is understood that a MOS:LAW compliant article should be written explicitly covering the subject of 'genocide' in criminal law, it's a separate question. The subject of this article is, however, 'Genocide', not Genocide (law). Rather than proscribe the article, how about creating a separate article where specialists are required. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:46, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Did I phrase the RfC wrong? This article is full of legal content, which is technical content, that does not adhere to guidelines. There are problems with mixing a significant amount of legal writing into non-technical articles...part of it comes from not following the MOS for this type of article and improperly applied legal citations. If this is not a law article, remove the technical law content (Discussion of cases, applying case law to elements of the crime ... ) Seraphim System (talk) 00:08, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Iryna Harpy I am fine with creating a specialist article. In that case, the legal content on this page should be moved, and in its place a brief and general introduction to the subject should be written, with a link to the main page. If I made a page about Descartes' theorem and then decided for no reason that it wasn't about math, and the information on the page was incorrect, that would obviously not be ok. Seraphim System (talk) 00:02, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Pincrete I consider an accusation that I am trying to distort an article subject to be a personal attack, especially when the article content is exclusively on a technical subject, and you are trying to stop me from correcting errors that distort case law. Seraphim System (talk) 00:05, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
@Seraphim System: No, I don't think that your wording was wrong. I also understand your intentions to be good, but the article was well sourced using third party and tertiary sources. If there are problems with some of the content, these need to be addressed by exploring and elucidating on sourcing rather than trying to squeeze the content down to fit one aspect of it. If it is understood that a MOS:LAW compliant article should be written explicitly covering the subject of 'genocide' in criminal law, it's a separate question. Firstly, you're not going to find experts in the field who are prepared to develop the article. Really. Unfortunately, asking for any experts in any field (other than medicine) is an excellent method for parring article back to a stub and grinding development to a halt. If the subject only covered genocide in criminal law, it would be another article altogether. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:08, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh, and the law article would need to be written (in a draft space?) before removing any of the content here. I don't believe that it's standing on the toes of criminal law, rather it's just citing well sourced content. I'm not sure that there's a bright line here, but there's certainly a fine line for distinction between OR and RS. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:13, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
I've had formal legal education, I'll write the article. It's not enough for the sources to be good, they must be correctly applied to the proposition. This is part of WP:RS. I don't know if I am not being clear, but there is no POV about this - if you cite a case to an element of the crime you must cite the holding, not what we call dicta (unless you make it clear you are citing dicta with introductory signals) - if a law student reads this article, they should be able to rely on what are considered standard practices in this field. Seraphim System (talk) 00:34, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Please compare the Britannica entry on the subject. I understand what your concerns are, but this article adheres to "Wikipedia is an encyclopedic reference, not a textbook." It is not written for students of law, but is a general overview for the lay person. As editors, it is our job to handle the sources and content as intelligently and neutrally as we can. This means that we don't dismiss reliable sources on the subject because it is inconvenient to our perception of what the article is or is not about. I have a very limited background in law (and certainly none in criminal law), but I'd be happy to assist in developing such an article in as far as my abilities allow me. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:47, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
The Britannica entry is a good guideline for this article. Law does require specialized knowledge/education, as much as Python syntax and semantics does, and it is easy to make mistakes. To help avoid this, briefs are available (even for Jorgic) - I am very concerned because currently it is not a correct statement of the law in that jurisdiction (ECHR) - if we are not going to use MOS:LAW citation what I can do is fix the wording, add a basic version of the holding without the technical details, and then cite discussion of physical-biological destruction directly to the scholars that support it (avoiding the need to use introductory signals.) Seraphim System (talk) 01:10, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

*1. Keep the current hatnote. My opinion: Per WP:Hatnote, keep the explanation simple as possible, which I think the current hatnote does. Stating 'the crime"requires prerequisite knowledge to know what is the crime, and also the article is broader than an legal crime.

*2. Do not treat this article as only a law article. My opinion: the article subject is broader than genocide law, a separate law article could be written. CuriousMind01 (talk) 11:48, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

After yesterday's discussion (see below) I also think that a full discussion of the law would overburden an overview page. Certain problematic sections like "intent" could be moved or merged into the draft for the new article, and replaced with a general statement that intent is required (and save discussion of what is and is not enough for intent, mens rea/actus reus, etc. for the law page) - this page should provide a general background of the legal history, similar to the scope of the Britannica entry Iryna Harpy posted above Seraphim System (talk) 17:32, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep the current hatnote. The article is broader than just the law aspect of genocide. We might need something like Genocide (crime) article which would detail the nuances of genocide in law, but that's a different issue. Darwinian Ape talk 08:40, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I think there's a point to be made in favor of revising the current hatnote based on what Tiptoethrutheminefield said about Seraphim System's alleged non-sequitur re: Jorgic and the ECHR. Given there are legal definitions of genocide that are different (broader, or without overlap) than how the current hatnote defines it, and given that this article covers the crime, the hatnote will need to be more broad to encompass both concepts. It's too narrow now. It'sAllinthePhrasing (talk) 04:33, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Iryna Harpy Is there a reason that the discussion on Jorgic includes everything but the Court's holding? Totally misrepresents the source, this needs to be rewritten to meet legal writing standards, or removed entirely. Misrepresenting case citations is not the way to do things. This is why one should not cite cases without legal citation, because the only thing that should be cited directly to a case is a proposition that the case supports directly (this does not include dicta.) Anything else should use proper citation signals like See and parentheticals. Wikipedia has legal writing guidelines MOS:LAW - I'm sorry you feel its POV, but I did not make up these rules " It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow." There are good reasons these rules are in place, as you can see. Seraphim System (talk) 07:56, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that citing this case is problematic (even outside of your concerns) in that it uses a WP:PRIMARY (to all intents and purposes) source to extrapolate content without reliable secondary/third party sources to provide any form of analysis. As is, a further secondary source is desirable. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:02, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
The Court cited Schabas, I still haven't found the part they were referring to. I must have a different edition or something but I will search through it again. Seraphim System (talk) 01:14, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
I've found these as secondary sources for the concept of 'intent' just from a cursory search:
  • Sangkul Kim (24 May 2016). A Collective Theory of Genocidal Intent. Springer. p. 181. ISBN 978-94-6265-123-4.
  • Andrzej Jakubowski (2016). Cultural Rights as Collective Rights: An International Law Perspective. BRILL. p. 321-322. ISBN 978-90-04-31202-9.
--Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:49, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
All good points - also Van Anraat was about intent too. Jakubowski is a little confusing because he is talking about mens rea and Jorgic, and then actus reus in Krstic - Jorgic was tried under the equivalent of (a) and (c), not (e) so we need to be careful to avoid WP:SYNTH here - ICTY also said that even if it wasn't a genocidal act it could go to intent (cited in Jorgic) - a full discussion of this will probably be too detailed for this article. There is also this from Schabas:

Many contemporary international criminal prosecutions are based upon a theory known as ‘joint criminal enterprise’. It recognizes that atrocities that qualify as international crimes, including genocide, are committed by groups and organizations, acting with a common purpose. In practice, it means that the leaders or organizers will be held responsible for the crimes committed by their associates, even those that they did not specifically intend, to the extent that these were a reasonable and foreseeable outcome of the common purpose or joint enterprise.

Seraphim System (talk) 02:49, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

In the Jorgic v Germany judgment of 12 July 2007 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) concluded that the German national courts’ rather broad interpretation of the genocidal intent to destroy, so as to cover the applicant’s acts committed in the course of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was consistent with the essence of that offence and could reasonably have been foreseen by the applicant at the material time (at para. 114). Notably, the ECtHR, in its judgment of July 2007, considered these issues within the context of its deliberations regarding the principle Nullapoenanullumcrimen sine lege as contained in Art. 7 (1) ECHR. Thus, the ECtHR merely held that in 1992, when the applicant had committed his offences—long before in 2001 the Krstić trial chamber expressly rejected the German Federal Constitutional Court’s broad interpretation of the intent to destroy, arguing that the offence of genocide was restricted to acts aimed at the physical or biological destruction of a group—it could have reasonably been foreseen by the perpetrator that his intent to destroy a group as a social unit might be subsumed under the crime of genocide by German courts. However, the ECtHR did not deliver a ruling on how in its opinion the ‘intent to destroy’ should be interpreted in 2007.

from MPEPIL Seraphim System (talk) 02:19, 18 April 2017 (UTC)


A couple of recent IP edits, one of which appears to be responding to a 'reddit' discussion, are arguing about the 'a-historical' use of the term 'murder' in this article. Whilst I am generally sympathetic to using the less emotive 'killing', where there is not a clear legal reason to do otherwise, some of the changes being argued over include altering quotes, which is a definite No-No. Pincrete (talk) 06:08, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Hmm. I'm predisposed to the use of 'killing' as being less emotive (and more encyclopaedic) than 'murder'. It's also far more of a standard usage of language in academic texts on the subject, but I guess that that's just my own preference. The changes certainly strike me as WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS by virtue of a change in the lexicology of the subject using Wikipedia as leverage for changing the language normally used by sources, so I'll register my disdain over heavy-handed revisionist techniques to make a point. There may be no legal reason to reinstate 'killing', but does it reflect RS? I'm not about to parse the WP:EUPHEMISM guideline, but the WP:COMMONSENSE application is to avoid modified language in news-style reportage. Changing every instance of 'killing' is a political statement that is not our place to make as editors. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:15, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 9 external links on Genocide. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 21:19, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Genocide vs. Massacre[edit]

What is the difference between a "genocide" and a "massacre"? Are there clear-cut criterias for such terms? Thanks. (talk) 06:54, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

Mainly intention, with genocide the intention to 'destroy the race/people' must be present. Also massacre refers to a single event, whereas genocide can be - and often is - an extended campaign. So a number of massacres can add up to genocide. Pincrete (talk) 21:15, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Genocide correlates with state collapse.[edit]

State collapse is a new Wikipedia page, a comparative study of how, when and why states (Nazi Germany, Austria Hungary, imperial Russia, Yugoslavia, USSR, Iraq, Libya, Congo free state, etc) decline and collapse with disturbing regularity, seeking violence and scapegoats as they do so. If anyone has pertinent comments to add, most grateful. Crawiki (talk) Crawiki (talk) 12:21, 8 November 2017 (UTC)