“Humanity” Within the Contemporary Context of International Law Dealing with Crimes Against Humanity

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


This chapter discusses the existing legal theories of crimes against humanity. It breaks the analytical classification into two sub-categories (conceptual and normative) and further proceeds to laying out the conceptual grounds for the proposed theory of humanness. The chapter also explains what the expression “a theory of crimes against humanity” means, i.e., it tries to clarify what key components such a theory has to possess. In this case, those components would be the theory’s “purpose” and “justification”. This chapter furthermore looks at how the relevant criminal law doctrines were or were not used in the considered theoretical normative descriptions, and suggests in which direction they would be better off going, with a view to providing a more comprehensive view. At the end the chapter offers a preliminary assessment of the relationship, or correlation, between the constituent elements of humanness and the individual acts of crimes against humanity as well as the so-called “contextual element” as established in the Rome Statute of the ICC.


Theories of crimes against humanity Conceptual and normative questions Theory of humanness Elements of humanness Individual acts Contextual element 


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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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