Aug 04 2009 Posted: 00:00 IST
The latest book by Professor Bill Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, addresses the 'crime of crimes' - genocide. Genocide in International Law: The Crime of Crimes, 2nd edition (Cambridge University Press, 2009) consists of a major revision of the first edition, which was published by Professor Schabas in 2000. The new book reviews the very important case law on genocide since 2000, the substantial academic contributions and the political developments, such as recognition of the doctrine of the responsibility to protect. The book was launched at NUI Galway recently by Professor David Scheffer, who served as the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues during President Bill Clinton's second term in office. Professor Sheffer said of the book: "Future generations of lawyers will accord the name Schabas the same high honour we accord all those titans of our legal curriculum, scholars who educate not only us mere mortals, but also the judges who rely on their insights and wisdom to decide hard cases". Professor Schabas has participated in numerous international human rights missions on behalf of non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International and the International Federation of Human Rights, to Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Cambodia and Guyana. In 2002, the President of Sierra Leone appointed him to the country s Truth and Reconciliation Commission upon the recommendation of Mary Robinson, the then United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In his preface to the new book, Professor Schabas writes: "There has probably been more legal development concerning the crime of genocide in the eight years since the first edition of this book was completed than in the five preceding decades". He adds: "Crowning this fertile period, in February 2007 the International Court of Justice issued its major ruling on the subject, a long-awaited conclusion to a case filed by Bosnia and Herzegovina against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1993". Professor Schabas teaches at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, which has become internationally recognised in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. This has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed MA programmes and doctoral research. Reflecting the growing interest in this field, the University has also now developed a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights.