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Refusal to Save Lives: A Perspective from International Criminal Law

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This article examines whether or not the refusal to accept life-saving humanitarian aid can qualify as a crime against humanity in international criminal law. By looking at the refusal to accept a certain HIV/AIDS drug in South Africa, and humanitarian aid in the wake of Cyclone Nargis in Burma, this article seeks to test the limits of the current understanding and conception of what a crime against humanity is. After a thorough review of the jurisprudence the article turns to apply the law to what transpired in South Africa and to Burma, and concludes that those situations do comport with the crime against humanity of ‘other inhumane acts’.

Affiliations: 1: Associate, Appleton & Associates International Lawyers, Toronto, Canada


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