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Chapter 1. International Humanitarian Intervention And Establishment Of An International Jurisdiction Over Crimes Against Humanity: The National And International Military Trials On Crete In 1898

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the history of modern international humanitarian law, uncovering previously neglected and generally unknown investigations and prosecutions carried out by the Great Powers against individuals held responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, all committed during inter-communal violence between Christians and Moslems on Crete in September 1898. It also examines the genesis of what was recognized and enforceable as a universal humanitarian right of "access to justice" and the importance and scale of wider peace-enforcing, demilitarizing activities carried out by the Great Powers as part of their humanitarian intervention in the affairs of Crete on the eve of the 20th century, an intervention that resonates remarkably with events that would occur in the Balkans 100 years later. The chapter explains the international military commissions and the new formulation of an international criminal jurisdiction over individual transgressors against the laws of humanity.

Keywords: Balkans; Crete; crimes against humanity; genocide; great powers; inter-communal violence; international military trials; modern international humanitarian law; universal humanitarian right; war crimes



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