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Forging a Convention for Crimes against Humanity


Richard Goldstone, Leila Nadya Sadat, Gareth Evans, Roger S. Clark, Payam Akhavan, M. Cherif Bassiouni, David Crane, Valerie Oosterveld, Göran Sluiter, Guénaël Mettraux, John Hagan, Todd J. Haugh, Diane Orentlicher, Elies van Sliedregt, Michael P. Scharf, Michael A. Newton, Kai Ambos, David Scheffer, Laura M. Olson, Gregory H. Stanton
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  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107676794
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About the Authors
  • Crimes against humanity were one of the three categories of crimes elaborated in the Nuremberg Charter. However, unlike genocide and war crimes, they were never set out in a comprehensive international convention. This book represents an effort to complete the Nuremberg legacy by filling this gap. It contains a complete text of a proposed convention on crimes against humanity in English and in French, a comprehensive history of the proposed convention, and fifteen original papers written by leading experts on international criminal law. The papers contain reflections on various aspects of crimes against humanity, including gender crimes, universal jurisdiction, the history of codification efforts, the responsibility to protect, ethnic cleansing, peace and justice dilemmas, amnesties and immunities, the jurisprudence of the ad hoc tribunals, the definition of the crime in customary international law, the ICC definition, the architecture of international criminal justice, modes of criminal participation, crimes against humanity and terrorism, and the inter-state enforcement regime.

    • Contains the first ever text of a draft convention on crimes against humanity, in English and French
    • Contains original papers by pre-eminent scholars on various aspects of the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity
    • Contains the drafting history of the convention
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In closing, this is an outstanding and thought provoking work that will be an essential reference to academics, legal scholars, practitioners, human rights advocates and those who are engaged in the study and promotion of international criminal law. For international criminal law scholars especially, it will continue to be an essential tool for years to come.' Hilmi M. Zawati, Journal of International Criminal Justice

    Customer reviews

    16th Jun 2015 by RustamAtadjanov

    The book edited by Leila Nadya Sadat focuses on various particular issues that the drafting of a universal document on crimes against humanity may raise. In fact, it does propose such a draft worked-out by Professor Bassiouni, thus providing a platform for future discussions on the matter. The work represents a collection of fifteen papers by distinguished scholars ranging from technical discussions of specific legal issues related with CAH, to broader conceptual topics. Notably, not only a specific gap in international law, i.e., lack of universal codification of crimes against humanity, is being addressed in the volume, with a legal argumentation for filling the lacunae but also important critical aspects relating to the proposed draft text are analyzed by the volumes contributors. Thus, the volumes contributors cast some practical light on future directions of the debate in the process of drafting and adopting the eventual text of the international convention, and propose concrete points for its further improvement. Sadats work also provides a detailed account of the history and current stage of this recently undertaken academic initiative its practical significance is reinforced by the inclusion of the draft proposed text of the CAH convention in English and French for readers attention. The book provides a professional platform for further discussion and guidance for the practitioners and specialists aspiring to contribute to the international criminal legal systems improvement and further crystallization.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107676794
    • length: 640 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 155 x 36 mm
    • weight: 0.88kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword - the crimes against humanity initiative
    1. Crimes against humanity and the responsibility to protect Gareth Evans
    2. History of efforts to codify crimes against humanity: from the charter of Nuremberg to the statute of Rome Roger S. Clark
    3. The universal repression of crimes against humanity before national jurisdictions: the need for a treaty-based obligation to prosecute Payam Akhavan
    4. Revisiting the architecture of crimes against humanity: almost a century in the making with gaps and ambiguities remaining - the need for a specialized convention M. Cherif Bassiouni
    5. The bright red thread: the politics of international criminal law - the West African experience - a case study: operation justice in Sierra Leone David Crane
    6. Gender-based crimes against humanity Valerie Oosterveld
    7. 'Chapeau elements' of crimes against humanity in the jurisprudence of the United Nations ad hoc tribunals Göran Sluiter
    8. The definition of crimes against humanity and the question of a 'policy' element Guénaël Mettraux
    9. Ethnic cleansing as euphemism, metaphor, criminology and law John Hagan and Todd J. Haugh
    10. Immunities and amnesties Diane Orentlicher
    11. Modes of participation Elies van Sliedregt
    12. Terrorism and crimes against humanity Michael P. Scharf and Michael A. Newton
    13. Crimes against humanity and the international criminal court Kai Ambos
    14. Crimes against humanity and the responsibility to protect David Scheffer
    15. Re-enforcing enforcement in a specialized convention on crimes against humanity: inter-state cooperation, mutual legal assistance, and the aut dedere aut judicare obligation Laura M. Olson
    16. Why the world needs an international convention on crimes against humanity Gregory H. Stanton
    Appendice I. International convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity
    Appendice II. Convention internationale pour la prévention et la répression des crimes contre l'humanité
    Appendice III. A comprehensive history of the international convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity.

  • Editor

    Leila Nadya Sadat, Washington University, St Louis
    Leila Nadya Sadat is the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor at Washington University School of Law and Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute. She is also the holder of the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, in Paris, France, for spring 2011. A distinguished expert in international criminal law and human rights, Sadat is the Director of the Crimes against Humanity Initiative, a three-year project to study the problem of crimes against humanity and draft a comprehensive convention addressing their punishment and prevention. A prolific scholar, Sadat is the author of The International Criminal Court and the Transformation of International Law: Justice for the New Millennium.


    Richard Goldstone, Leila Nadya Sadat, Gareth Evans, Roger S. Clark, Payam Akhavan, M. Cherif Bassiouni, David Crane, Valerie Oosterveld, Göran Sluiter, Guénaël Mettraux, John Hagan, Todd J. Haugh, Diane Orentlicher, Elies van Sliedregt, Michael P. Scharf, Michael A. Newton, Kai Ambos, David Scheffer, Laura M. Olson, Gregory H. Stanton

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