Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

May, Larry

  • Colleen Murphy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_36

Larry May is the first philosopher to systematically articulate the conceptual and normative foundations of international criminal law. In Crimes Against Humanity: A Normative Account (2005), May develops criteria for determining the conditions under which individuals should be held criminally liable for crimes with a collective dimension, such as crimes against humanity, by international criminal tribunals. The “international harm principle” restricts crimes against humanity, and liability for such crimes to cases of widespread or systematic harm where groups are either the victims or perpetrators of harm; in the case of perpetrators, the groups in question are either states or state-like groups. Harms that are not group based, May argues, fall under the jurisdiction of domestic courts only. According to May, international tribunals in such cases are justified because the obligation to respect state sovereignty (and so a state’s jurisdiction over responding to crimes committed within...

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  1. Altman A (2006) The persistent fiction of harm to humanity. Ethics Int Aff 20(3):367–372Google Scholar
  2. Luban D (2006) Beyond moral minimalism. Ethics Int Aff 20(3):353–360Google Scholar
  3. May L (2005) Crimes against humanity: a normative account. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. May L (2006) Humanity and international crime: reply to critics. Ethics Int Aff 20(3):373–382Google Scholar
  5. May L (2007) War crimes and just wars. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. May L (2008a) Aggression and crimes against peace. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. May L (2008b) International criminal justice: a reply to my critics. Soc Philos Today 23:243–258Google Scholar
  8. May L (2009) Genocide: a normative account. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colleen Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTexas A & M UniversityCollege StationUSA