Crimes against humanity
Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack or individual attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative. Unlike war crimes, crimes against humanity can be committed during peace or war. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority.
- Our lawsuit seeking justice for the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador established that the assassination of only one person could be considered a crime against humanity because of the crime’s impact on a country’s citizens. CJA’s criminal cases before the Spanish National Court – the Guatemala Genocide Case and the Jesuits Massacre Case – and our amicus brief work in Haiti have helped establish that there is no statute of limitations for crimes against humanity.
- The Center for Justice and Accountability (accessed January 17, 2019)
- Despite the promises made after World War II to eliminate the commission of atrocities, crimes against humanity persist with horrifying ubiquity. Yet the absence of a consistent definition and uniform interpretation of crimes against humanity has made it difficult to establish the theory underlying such crimes and to prosecute them in particular cases. In the 1990s, several ad hoc international criminal tribunals were established to respond to the commission of atrocity crimes, including crimes against humanity, in specific regions of the world in conflict. Building on this legacy, in 1998 a new institution—the International Criminal Court (ICC) — was established to take up the task...
- The former president of the Ivory Coast was acquitted of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court yesterday in a blow for the tribunal’s first prosecution of a former head of state. he court ruled that prosecutors had failed to present sufficient evidence to prove that Laurent Gbagbo and his right-hand man, Charles Blé Goudé, were guilty of directing rape, murder and other violence after his 2010 electoral defeat by President Ouattara. About 3,000 people died.
- Romanian prosecutors have indicted former President Ion Iliescu for crimes against humanity for his role in the bloody aftermath of the December 1989 revolt that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's regime. Iliescu's indictment, the latest step in a long-running investigation, was revealed 29 years to the day since the uprising, which had begun in the western city of Timisoara, reached Bucharest.
- Romanian Ex-President Iliescu Indicted For 'Crimes Against Humanity' (21 December 2018)
- UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect works to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity....Crimes against humanity have not yet been codified in a dedicated treaty of international law, unlike genocide and war crimes, although there are efforts to do so. Despite this, the prohibition of crimes against humanity, similar to the prohibition of genocide, has been considered a peremptory norm of international law, from which no derogation is permitted and which is applicable to all States.
- Charter of the United Nations
- Crimes Against Humanity Initiative
- International law
- Rule of law
- War crimes