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Crimes against Humanity

Crimes against Humanity
A Normative Account


Part of Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law

  • Author: Larry May, Washington University, St Louis
  • Date Published: January 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521840798

£ 58.00

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About the Authors
  • This book was the first booklength treatment of the philosophical foundations of international criminal law. The focus is on the moral, legal, and political questions that arise when individuals who commit collective crimes, such as crimes against humanity, are held accountable by international criminal tribunals. These tribunals challenge one of the most sacred prerogatives of states - sovereignty - and breaches to this sovereignty can be justified in limited circumstances, following what the author calls a minimalist account of the justification of international prosecution. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book should appeal to anyone with an interest in international law, political philosophy, international relations, and human rights theory.

    • Was the first booklength treatment of the philosophy of international law
    • Will have a cross-disciplinary appeal (political philosophy, international law, international relations, human rights)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Humanity has been much written about, but not crimes against it. This book, which combines insights into moral and social philosophy and law reminds us of the need to translate our professed human values into action to prevent their depredations. It is through such intellectual writings that our conscience is stirred to action.' M. Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul University College of Law

    'Larry May brings an unusual combination of talents to this probing analysis of international criminal justice: philosophical insight and experience as a practicing criminal lawyer. Philosophers as well as international lawyers and experts on international relations will profit from his balanced and sensitive discussion.' Allen Buchanan, Duke University

    'Larry May has written a book on crimes against humanity that provides careful analysis of the core issues for anyone - whether lawyer, moral or political philosopher, or plain citizen - interested in this subject.' Democratiya

    'Larry May has definitely written a must-read on human rights and the persecution of human rights violations. Philosophers, ethicists, lawyers, historians, functionaries, and politicians will hardly find another book that offers a more encompassing and compelling and yet delicate treatment of the subject and its philosophical ramifications.' Ethical Perspectives

    'May's book is located in a relatively unexplored area of international criminal law scholarship, at the crossroads of legal theory and moral and political philosophy.' Journal of Peace Research

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521840798
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.65kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Universal Norms and Moral Minimalism:
    1. Introduction
    2. Jus cogens norms
    3. Custom, opinio juris, and consent
    Part II. Principles of International Criminal Law:
    4. The security principle
    5. The international harm principle
    6. International crime: the case of rape
    Part III. Prosecuting International Crimes:
    7. Prosecuting minor players for crimes against humanity
    8. Prosecuting state leaders for crimes against humanity
    9. Prosecuting genocide amidst widespread complicity
    Part IV. Defenses and Alternatives:
    10. Superior orders, duress, and moral perception
    11. The international rule of law
    12. Victims and convictions
    13. Reconciliation and amnesty programs.

  • Author

    Larry May, Washington University, St Louis
    Larry May is Professor of Philosophy at Washington University, St Louis.

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