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Historical Overview of the Development of the Concept of Humanity in International Law and Crimes Against Humanity

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

Abstract

This voluminous chapter looks at relevant conceptual developments in major civilizations and societies in human history, attempting to determine what exact content was ascribed to the meaning of “humanity” as understood in those cultures, and also how it evolved over time. It then discusses whether “laws of humanity” can be considered as an independent source of law in their own right and whether or not there is an already existing autonomous legal rule flowing out of that source. The main focus is on how and with what content the idea of humanity has become established in international law. This chapter is divided into two parts, with the first one focusing on the developments before the first true codification of crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg Charter, and the second one concentrating on the most important evolution stages of the international law of crimes against humanity after the adoption of the Charter. The humanitarian considerations informing the principle of humanity as concerns the law of war are also briefly described. The conclusion summarizes the main results of the historical overview which will then serve as the basis for the theory laid out in the subsequent chapters of the monograph.

Keywords

Concept of humanity Humanitas Romana Natural law ius gentium Immanuel Kant Lieber Code Martens Clause Armenian Massacres 

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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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