Cover Koursami

The 'Contextual Elements' of the Crime of Genocide
Series: International Criminal Justice Series

December 2017 Author: Nasour Koursami, National School of Administration, N’Djamena, Chad



  • Published: December 2017
  • Pages: xiv + 223 pp.
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

This book examines the position of ‘contextual elements’ as a constitutive element of the legal definition of the crime of genocide, and determines the extent to which an individual génocidaire is required to act within a particular genocidal context.Unlike other books in the field of the study of the crime of genocide, this book captures the nuance and the complex issues of the debate by providing a book-length comprehensive examination of the position of contextual elements in light of the evolution of genocide as a concept and the literal legal definition of the crime of genocide, which expressly characterized the crime with only the existence of an individualistic intent to destroy a group.

With scholars of international criminal law, students, researchers, practitioners in the field, and international criminal tribunals in mind, the author tackles many of the issues raised on the position of contextual elements in both academic literature and judicial decisions.

Nasour Koursami is the Director of Applied Research and a Lecturer at the National School of Administration in Chad. He studied law at Cardiff and Bristol Universities and holds a Ph.D. in International Law from the University of Edinburgh.

Specific to this book:

  • An in-depth examination of one of the most controversial questions surrounding the crime of genocide;
  • Examines the current state of international criminal law as an evolving discipline;
  • Focuses on one specific question, concludes with a definitive answer and offers concrete propositions

Excerpt from a book review:

In my opinion, the book’s pièce de résistance is, without a doubt, section 6.5.1. (178–82), where the author conducts thought-provoking, independent and highly interesting research, by means of thorough case law analyses. The dividing line between alleging and proving genocide is rarely discussed in scholarship, and Koursami’s analysis is a valuable contribution.
On a more general level, the book deals with an important matter of law, namely the legal relevance of context in the interpretation of the crime of genocide. The ‘Contextual Elements’ of the Crime of Genocide raises a number of contentious and sparsely discussed issues, which deserve far more attention. To this regard, Dr Nasour Koursami deserves praise for critically addressing the existence, the need and the interpretation of such elements.

Carola Lingaas (2018) The ‘Contextual Elements’ of the Crime of Genocide, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 36:4, 439-441, DOI: 10.1080/18918131.2018.1547537

This is Volume 17 in the International Criminal Justice Series

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