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“Humanity” as a Valid Protected Interest Under the Rechtsgutstheorie

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

Abstract

A theory of crimes against humanity needs to consist of both conceptual and normative foundations as argued in the preceding chapter. This chapter deals with the normative part of the theory of humanness. It considers the major relevant aspects and consequences flowing out of the application of the doctrine of Rechtsgutstheorie including its functions in the law. It further contains a consideration of the past and ongoing criticism of the Rechtsgutstheorie in legal literature as well. Then, the abovesaid elements of the doctrine, namely, its relevant aspects, functions and consequences are reviewed on the matter of whether the definitional scope of the doctrine allows for the inclusion of “humanity” in the normative list of Rechtsgüter (i.e., legal interests). The reasons why the answer here would be “yes” are explained within the analytical exercise in the last section of the chapter. That exercise consists of two main parts: the analysis of humanity as a Rechtsgut and review of legal consequences of Rechtsgutstheorie in terms of the theory of humanness. Finally, the chapter is not limited to the argumentation in support of normatively justifying the criminalization of the gravest attacks against humanity as crimes against humanity at the domestic state level; it also contains the initial reasoning on such justification at the international level using the fundamental premise of the Rechtsgutstheorie as a social contract doctrine.

Keywords

Rechtsgutstheorie Critical function Methodological function Analytical tool Humanity as Rechtsgut Domestic and international criminalization Social contract 

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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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