Crimes Against Humanity and the Limits of International Criminal Law

Law and Philosophy 31 (4):443-476 (2012)
Abstract
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
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