28 1973

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Number 28 of 1973


GENOCIDE ACT, 1973


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definition.

2.

Genocide.

3.

Extradition and evidence for foreign courts.

4.

Amendment of section 169 of Defence Act, 1954.

5.

Amendment of section 192 of Defence Act, 1954.

6.

Amendment of section 13 of Criminal Procedure Act, 1967.

7.

Amendment of section 29 of Criminal Procedure Act, 1967.

8.

Short title.

SCHEDULE


Acts Referred to

Extradition Act, 1965

1965, No. 17

Extradition Act, 1870

1870, c. 52

Extradition Act, 1873

1873, c. 60

Defence Act, 1954

1954, No. 18

Criminal Procedure Act, 1967

1967, No. 12

Treason Act, 1939

1939, No. 10

Geneva Conventions Acts, 1962

1962, No. 11

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Number 28 of 1973


GENOCIDE ACT, 1973


AN ACT TO GIVE EFFECT TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH. [18th December, 1973]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Definition.

1. —In this Act “the Genocide Convention” means the Convention set out in the Schedule to this Act.

Genocide.

2. —(1) A person commits an offence of genocide if he commits any act falling within the definition of “genocide” in Article II of the Genocide Convention.

(2) A person guilty of an offence of genocide shall on conviction on indictment—

(a) in case the offence consists of the killing of any person, be sentenced to imprisonment for life, and

(b) in any other case, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

(3) Proceedings for an offence of genocide shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Attorney General.

(4) A person charged with an offence of genocide or any attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit genocide shall be tried by the Central Criminal Court.

Extradition and evidence for foreign courts.

3. —(1) No offence which, if committed in the State, would be punishable as genocide or as an attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit genocide shall be regarded as a political offence or an offence connected with a political offence for the purposes of the Extradition Act, 1965 , and no proceedings in respect of such an offence shall be regarded as a criminal matter of a political character for the purposes of section 24 of the Extradition Act, 1870, or section 5 of the Extradition Act, 1873.

(2) A person shall not be exempt from extradition under the Extradition Act, 1965 , for an offence referred to in subsection (1) of this section on the ground that, under the law in force at the time when, and in the place where, he is alleged to have committed the act of which he is accused or of which he was convicted, he could not have been punished therefor; nor shall an order under section 24 of the Extradition Act, 1870, or section 5 of the Extradition Act, 1873, for the taking of evidence in relation to any such offence as aforesaid be invalid on any such ground.

Amendment of section 169 of Defence Act, 1954.

4. Section 169 of the Defence Act, 1954 (which relates to the trial of certain civil offences by court-martial) is hereby amended by the insertion after paragraph (b) of the following:

“(bb) if he is convicted of an act of genocide which would be punishable under the Genocide Act, 1973, be liable—

(i) in case the offence consists of the killing of any person, to imprisonment for life, or

(ii) in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years;”.

Amendment of section 192 of Defence Act, 1954

5. Section 192 of the Defence Act, 1954 (which relates to the jurisdiction of courts-martial) is hereby amended by—

(a) the insertion in subsection (2) (c) after “murder” of “or genocide”, and

(b) the insertion in subsection (3) after “murder,” of “genocide,”,

and, accordingly, those subsections shall have effect as set out in the Table to this section.

Table

(2) A limited court-martial shall not have jurisdiction—

(a) to try any person for any offence against military law committed by such person while subject to military law as an officer, or

(b) to try any person who is for the time being an officer, or

(c) to try any person for the offence of treason or murder or genocide, or

(d) to award to any person any sentence greater than imprisonment.

(3) A court-martial shall not have jurisdiction to try any person subject to military law for the offence of treason, murder, genocide, manslaughter or rape unless such offence was committed while such person was on active service.

Amendment of section 13 of Criminal Procedure Act, 1967.

6. Section 13 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1967 (which relates to the procedure where the accused pleads guilty in the District Court to an indictable offence) is hereby amended by the insertion in subsection (1) after “piracy” of “, genocide”, and accordingly that subsection shall have effect as set out in the Table to this section.

TABLE

(1) This section applies to all indictable offences except the following—an offence under the Treason Act, 1939 , murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy to murder, piracy, genocide or a grave breach such as is referred to in section 3 (1) (i) of the Geneva Conventions Act, 1962 , including an offence by an accessory before or after the fact.

Amendment of section 29 of Criminal Procedure Act, 1967.

7. Section 29 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1967 (which relates to bail in case of treason, murder and certain other offences) is hereby amended by the insertion in subsection (1) after paragraph (f) of the following:

“(g) genocide.”.

Short title.

8. —This Act may be cited as the Genocide Act, 1973.

SCHEDULE

CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE. ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS ON 9 DECEMBER 1948

The Contracting Parties,

Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world;

Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity; and

Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required,

Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:

Article I

The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article II

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III

The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article IV

Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Article V

The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or of any of the other acts enumerated in article III.

Article VI

Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.

Article VII

Genocide and the other acts enumerated in article III shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition.

The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force.

Article VIII

Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.

Article IX

Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

Article X

The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the date of 9 December 1948.

Article XI

The present Convention shall be open until 31 December 1949 for signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the General Assembly.

The present Convention shall be ratified, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

After 1 January 1950 the present Convention may be acceded to on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State which has received an invitation as aforesaid.

Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article XII

Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, extend the application of the present Convention to all or any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that Contracting Party is responsible.

Article XIII

On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall draw up a procès-verbal and transmit a copy thereof to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI.

The present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.

Any ratification or accession effected subsequent to the latter date shall become effective on the ninetieth day following the deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession.

Article XIV

The present Convention shall remain in effect for a period of ten years as from the date of its coming into force.

It shall thereafter remain in force for successive periods of five years for such Contracting Parties as have not denounced it at least six months before the expiration of the current period.

Denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article XV

If, as a result of denunciations, the number of Parties to the present Convention should become less than sixteen, the Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date on which the last of these denunciations shall become effective.

Article XVI

A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General.

The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request.

Article XVII

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in article XI of the following:

(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance with article XI;

(b) Notifications received in accordance with article XII;

(c) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in accordance with article XIII;

(d) Denunciations received in accordance with article XIV;

(e) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance with article XV;

(f) Notifications received in accordance with article XVI.

Article XVIII

The original of the present Convention shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

A certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI.

Article XIX

The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.