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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Crimes against Humanity

Guido Acquaviva, Fausto Pocar

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 21 October 2021

Gross violations — Economic, social, and cultural rights — Civil and political rights — Crimes against humanity — Geneva Conventions 1949

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The idea that some elementary principles of humanity should be adhered to in all circumstances, including during armed conflicts, has surfaced at various times throughout history (Humanity, Principle of). During the past century, the unprecedented massive scale of crimes aimed at degrading whole categories of victims and perpetrated as part of the policy of States or State-like structures has gradually led to the recognition under international law of ‘crimes against humanity’ (see also International Criminal Law). Indeed, the notion that certain crimes shock...
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