Summary Title: Genocide, or not genocide, that is the question A case study of the international community´s interpretation and investigation of the Darfur-conflict Author: Mats Ravik Jupskås Supervisor: Kjersti Lohne Place: Institute for Criminology and Sociology of Law: Faculty of Law, University of Oslo Submission date: November 10th 2014 This thesis is an inquiry into the definitional struggle among international actors on whether the Darfur-conflict constitutes genocide. Based on reports published by international actors I examine how actors have conceptualized the concept of genocide and conducted fact-finding with the aim of answering the main research question: Why does the international community disagree on whether the Darfur-conflict constitute genocide. In 2003 a conflict between the non Arab groups the Fur, Masaalit and Zaghawa and the Government of Sudan aligned with the Arabic militia group Janjaweed in Darfur intensified and arose to international attention. Actors within the international community have largely agreed upon that the Government of Sudan has committed massive abuse against civilians in Darfur, but actors, such as the United States government, the inter-governmental organizations the United Nations and the two non-governmental organization Amnesty International Physicians for Human Rights disagree on whether the abuse constitutes crimes against humanity or genocide. These actors have conducted fact-finding into the conflict and published reports with their main findings and analysis of this conflict in relation to the concept of genocide. Based on three main theoretical frameworks I have analyzed these reports. These frameworks are: Scott Straus´ (2001) identification of 15 different genocide definitions that can be conceptualized based on five core dimensions: (1) whether the definitions holds group annihilation as primary goal, (2) how intent is defined, (3) mode of annihilation, (4) agent of annihilation, and (5) target of annihilation; William Schabas´(2009) understanding of the definition of genocide stipulated in the 1948 Genocide Convention as a three-folded concept: (1) the physical element which describes the actual physical act, (2) the mental element that describes the intention the physical act must be committed with and (3) the element of protected groups which identifies the specific groups that must targeted; and Michael Bothe´s (2007) six stages – (1) initiation, (2) determination of mandate, (3) taking evidence, (4) evaluating evidence, (5) statement of facts and (6) reaction – for comparing fact-finding missions. My inquiries into how the G-word is conceptualized and how they have conducted investigation show that the actors conceptualize the G-word differently and conduct fact-finding differently. Based on the findings I would argue that these differences may explain why the international community – here represented by the US, the UN, AI and PHR – disagree on whether the Darfur-conflict constitutes genocide. Most notably, the Commission adopted a more narrow understanding of the concept than the other actors leading to a conclusion that acts of genocide did not occur. This conclusion may have been further influenced by a mandate that required them to follow international criminal law more strictly than the other actors. The US, PHR and AI also adopted the framework of international criminal law to describe the Darfur-conflict, but they were not required to strictly follow the legal framework. The different interpretations by the PHR, the US ad AI indicate that the different actors have selectively analyzed elements of the definition. This suggests that the definition in the Convention is used in order to strengthen their arguments. The definition is, in other words, used subjectively. The different elements of the law are applied primarily when it fits what the actors has found or want to present.