Crimes Against Humanity and the Limits of International Criminal Law

Article English OPEN
Renzo, Massimo (2012)
  • Publisher: Springer Nature
  • Journal: Law and Philosophy
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1007/s10982-012-9127-4
  • Subject: Law | Philosophy | HV | KC_International_Law

Crimes against humanity are supposed to have a collective dimension with respect both to their victims and their perpetrators. According to the orthodox view, these crimes can be committed by individuals against individuals, but only in the context of a widespread or systematic attack against the group to which the victims belong. In this paper I offer a new conception of crimes against humanity and a new justification for their international prosecution. This conception has important implications as to which crimes can be justifiably prosecuted and punished by the international community. I contend that the scope of the area of international criminal justice that deals with basic human rights violations should be wider than is currently acknowledged, in that it should include some individual violations of human rights, rather than only violations that have a collective dimension.
  • References (11)
    11 references, page 1 of 2

    8 Ibid.; Richard Vernon, 'What Is Crime Against Humanity?', Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (2003): 321-349.

    9 Quoted in M. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity in International Criminal Law, 2nd ed. (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1999), p. 76.

    10 Adil A. Haque, 'Group Violence and Group Vengeance: Toward a Retributivist Theory of International Criminal Law', Buffalo Criminal Law Review 9 (2005): 273-328, at p. 274.

    18 Henry Shue, Basic Rights, 2nd ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 29-34.

    19 Jean Hampton, 'Correcting Harms Versus Righting Wrongs: The Goal of Retribution', UCLA Law Review 39 (1992): 1659-1702, at pp. 1666-1685.

    33 Duff himself suggests that international punishment can be understood in this way in his 'Authority and Responsibility in International Criminal Law', in Besson and Tasioulas (eds.), The Philosophy of International Law, pp. 590-604. For a detailed examination of how my view differs from his, see Renzo, 'Responsibility and Answerability in the Criminal Law'.

    34 Douglas Husak, 'Malum Prohibitum and Retributivism', in R.A. Duff and Stuart Green (eds.), Defining Crimes: Essays on the Special Part of the Criminal Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 65-90.

    35 Duff, Answering for crime, pp. 89-93.

    47 Andrew Altman and Christopher H. Wellman, 'A Defense of International Criminal Law', Ethics 115 (2004): 35-67.

    48 The best known defense of this form of legal moralism is Michael S. Moore, Placing Blame. A General Theory of the Criminal Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), pp. 33-35, 153-158.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark