Towards a Philosophical Account of Crimes Against Humanity

In this article I discuss the nature of crimes against humanity. The various definitions that have been used, or alluded to, in the legal literature are outlined, and it is suggested that they fall neatly into two camps by interpreting ‘humanity’ differently. It is proposed that any theory which adequately captures the nature of this crime must distinguish it qualitatively from other ‘lower’ crimes, and that only members of one camp can do this. I go on to argue for one particular way of treating the crime – regarding it as a crime which hurts all humanity – and recommend adopting a view under which we would regard all humanity as one entity
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