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Whether crimes against humanity are backdoor war crimes

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Chapter Summary

One of the essential features of the notion of crimes against humanity is its state of constant codification that has spanned centuries. This is to a degree reflective of the controversies that arose from its inception and throughout its historic development. It is generally agreed that the father of the notion of crimes against humanity of the modern era is Russia. This chapter recalls some of the controversies that arose around the notion of crimes against humanity at different periods of its development. 47 years after Nuremberg, with the adoption of the statutes of the ad hoc tribunals in 1993, the saga around the interpretation of the definition of crimes against humanity continued. In the presently ongoing Gotovina et al case at the ICTY, the Defence Counsel raised a number of jurisdictional issues pertaining to the application of the concept of crimes against humanity in conduct of hostilities situations.

Keywords: ad hoc tribunals; crimes against humanity; ICTY; Nuremberg; Russia



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