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History of International Investigations and Prosecutions

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Chapter Summary

Crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and torture are international crimes which have risen to the level of jus cogens. The legal literature discloses that the international crimes are jus cogens: aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, piracy, slavery and slave-related practices, and torture. Sufficient legal basis exists to reach the conclusion that all these crimes are part of jus cogens. This legal basis consists of the following: (1) international pronouncements, or what can be called international opinio juris, reflecting the recognition that these crimes are deemed part of general customary law; (2) language in preambles or other provisions of treaties applicable to these crimes which indicates these crimes? higher status in international law; (3) the large number of states which have ratified treaties related to these crimes; and (4) the ad hoc international investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators of these crimes.

Keywords: customary law; genocide; humanity; international crimes; international investigations; international law; international pronouncements; jus cogens; prosecutions; torture



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