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The Importance of Genocide Recognition

Geoffrey Robertson

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson discusses the importance of genocide recognition.

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April 2016


The Importance of Genocide Recognition

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson explains what constitutes genocide as a legal concept, how this legal definition applies to the case of the Armenians in 1915 and how the Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century, was critical in the development of genocide studies and the drafting of the UN Genocide Convention of 1948 by Raphael Lemkin.

Produced by AGBU WebTalks in partnership with the Zoryan Institute.


Geoffrey Robertson QC is an international jurist, human rights lawyer, and academic. His award-winning book An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Remembers the Armenians? presents an argument based on fact, evidence and his knowledge of international law, to establish that the horrific events that occurred in 1915 do indeed constitute genocide. In recent years, he has been particularly prominent in the defense of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He has also represented author Salman Rushdie and prosecuted General Augusto Pinochet. He is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the UK's largest human rights practice, and was formerly President of the United Nations War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone and a member of the UN's Justice Council. In January 2015, Geoffrey Robertson and Amal Alamuddin Clooney represented Armenia before the European Court of Human Rights in a case against ultra-nationalist Turkish MP Doğu Perinçek.