Not “Lambs to the Slaughter”: A Program for Resistance to Genocidal Law
This article examines the way in which international law is part and parcel of a broad vision of genocide prevention as the responsibility of the international community and states, and therefore implicitly disempowering of victims. It sketches the role that scholars of actual genocides ascribe to resistance efforts in averting genocides. On the basis of a particular understanding of genocidal conduct as being at least partly determined by blind obedience to orders and the law (“genocidal law”), the article suggests that a useful way of looking at resistance is one that sees it as a fundamentally normative activity. It then contends that the fundamental challenge is for the international community to better assess ways in which international law might stimulate resistance to such “genocidal law.” The article puts forward a militant theory of genocide that is rooted in resistance put up by those threatened by and studies the role that international law might have in legitimizing, supporting and validating resistance efforts.