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Introduction

  • Rustam AtadjanovEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Criminal Justice Series book series (ICJS, volume 22)

Abstract

It is difficult to find a more ambiguous and multifaceted category than the concept of humanity. There are several definitions of the term; however, no integral comprehensive interpretation of the concept exists in law. There can hardly be more topical an area in the conceptual realm of “humanity” than the question of its role and influence on the legal theories of crimes against humanity. This chapter introduces the main problem analyzed in the book: absence of the exact definition of what exactly constitutes the central protected interest of crimes against humanity, i.e., humanity. The chapter poses several substantive questions, notes some etymological issues related to humanity, formulates the main purposes of the monograph and briefly describes the main points of the discussion in each subsequent “substantive” chapter. It points out one of the monograph’s key aims which is to re-examine and assign to the notion of humanity its proper place within the contemporary understanding of crimes against humanity, and propose a comprehensive conceptual and normative concept of humanity, in light of German Rechtsgutsheorie and social contract doctrine.

Keywords

Definitions of humanity Crimes against humanity Martens Clause Nuremberg Charter Rome Statute Rechtsgüterschutz 

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the author 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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