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Crimes Against Humanity In Contemporary International Law

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Chapter Summary

Crimes against humanity are directed against any civilian population and are forbidden either in time of peace or of armed conflict. Nowadays there is universal recognition of crimes against humanity as those serious offences against life and dignity of human persons, as well as of the international criminal responsibility of their authors. However, the definition of these crimes and the concretion of their constituent elements have been subject to significant legal evolution, especially since 1993. The main impetus for this evolution has been the ICTY and ICTR jurisprudence, as well as the codifying efforts reflected in the ICC Statute and in the Elements of Crimes. Two important innovations have been introduced in contemporary international law. Firstly, the category of offences qualifying as crimes against humanity has been extensively broadened. Secondly, there has been an accurate description of the constituent elements of all the different crimes against humanity previously defined.

Keywords: contemporary international law; crimes against humanity; ICC Statute; ICTR jurisprudence; ICTY Appeals Chamber



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