Genocide and arms
Over at davelkopel.com, Dave has posted an interesting paper by himself, Paul Gallant, & Joanne D. Eisen. The title, "Is Resisting Genocide A Human Right?" sums up the subject matter.The paper is 47 singlespaced pages long, exploring genocide, arms and arms control, and treaties on the subject, and concludes:
In this Article, we have shown that, under existing international law, genocide victims are not obliged to wait for foreign governments or world organizations to rescue them. According to normative principles of international law and according to positive international law, genocide victims have a fundamental human right to use armed force to resist genocide. Because the prohibition of genocide is a preemptory jus cogens norm of international law, any local, national, or international laws or government actions which interfere with self-defense by genocide victims are necessarily unlawful. In particular, arms control laws which may be generally valid may not be enforced against genocide victims or against persons who supply arms to genocide victims; enforcement would make the enforcing court or other state agency complicit in genocide.
Accordingly, the Security Council 2005 arms embargo on Sudan may not lawfully be enforced so as to deny defensive arms to the genocide victims in Darfur. The new UN Protocol against firearms trafficking and manufacturing is equally inapplicable to arms acquisition by genocide victims, including the Darfur victims.
All future international small arms control treaties should explicitly recognize that the treaty does not (and, as a matter of existing international law, can not) apply so as to prevent genocide victims from acquiring and using defensive arms. Any interference—including interference under color of law—with the selfdefense rights of genocide victims constitutes a grave violation of the most fundamental of all international and moral laws.