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This book tells the story of the emergence of the concept of crimes against humanity. It examines its origins, the ethical assumptions underpinning it, its legal and philosophical boundaries and some of the controversies connected with it. A brief historical introduction is followed by an exploration of the various meanings of the term ‘crimes against humanity’ that have been suggested; a definition is proposed linking it to the idea of basic human rights. The book looks at some problems with the boundaries of the concept, the threshold for its proper application and the related issue of humanitarian intervention. It concludes with a discussion of the prospects for the further development of crimes-against-humanity law.
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This book provides a critical analysis of the definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity as construed in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Each crime is discussed from its origins in treaty or customary international law, through developments as a result of the jurisprudence of modern ad hoc or internationalised tribunals, to modifications introduced by the Rome Statute and the Elements of Crimes. The influence of human rights law upon the definition of crimes is discussed, as is the possible impact of State reservations on the underlying treaties that form the basis for the conduct covered by the offences in the Rome Statute. Examples are also given from recent conflicts to aid a ‘real-life’ discussion of the type of conduct over which the International Criminal Court may take jurisdiction.
Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy (1833–1918) was one of the most significant pioneers of the British women's emancipation movement, though her importance is little recognised. Wolstenholme Elmy referred to herself as an ‘initiator’ of movements, and she was at the heart of every campaign Victorian feminists conducted — her most well-known position being that of secretary of the Married Women's Property Committee from 1867–82. A fierce advocate of human rights, as the secretary of the Vigilance Association for the Defence of Personal Rights, Wolstenholme Elmy earned the nickname of the ‘parliamentary watch-dog’ from Members of Parliament anxious to escape her persistent lobbying. Also a feminist theorist, she believed wholeheartedly in the rights of women to freedom of their person, and was the first woman ever to speak from a British stage on the sensitive topic of conjugal rape. Wolstenholme Elmy engaged theoretically with the rights of the disenfranchised to exert force in pursuit of the vote, and Emmeline Pankhurst lauded her as ‘first’ among the infamous suffragettes of the Women's Social and Political Union. As a lifelong pacifist, however, she resigned from the WSPU Executive in the wake of increasingly violent activity from 1912. A prolific correspondent, journalist, speaker and political critic, Wolstenholme Elmy left significant resources, believing they ‘might be of value’ to historians. This book draws on a great deal of this documentation to produce a portrait that does justice to her achievements as a lifelong ‘Insurgent woman’.
Nineteenth-century international law imbibed the racist virus. The twentieth century attempted to find an escape through fundamental, principled restatements of the equality and dignity of human beings and the worth of the cultures of humanity in all their subtlety and variety. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) was preceded by the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1963, and converted its premises into legally binding standards. The ICERD carried the hopes and aspirations of many in the international community for an international order of mutual respect and harmony among nations and peoples. This book tracks the debates that have shaped Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's (CERD) policies and practices on disaggregated data over its first forty-five years. The UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance (WCAR) created an opportunity for the family of nations to engage in a global dialogue. The rights of indigenous peoples under international human rights law have greatly evolved with the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007. CERD's serious attention to the continuing role played by anti-Romani sentiment - anti-Gypsyism - in shaping the societies is required. The central concern of General Recommendation 35 (2013) of the CERD was to figure out and set out how the 'resources' of the ICERD can be optimally 'mobilised' for the purpose of combating racist hate speech.
On 1 October 1989, eleven gay male couples gathered in the registry office of Copenhagen's city chambers to take part in a civil ceremony, entering into a newly established entity called a registered partnership (RP). This book examines same-sex unions (SSU) policy developments western democracies and explains why the overwhelming majority of these countries has implemented a national law to recognise gay and lesbian couples. It presents an overview of recent developments in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) politics as well as the academic literatures that seek to interpret and analyse these developments. The study discussed adds to constructivist work on the international human rights regime, which has been a prominent focus of the literature. The book also examines the processes of international policy diffusion. It traces the development of a soft-law norm for relationship recognition within the broader European polity and illustrates how dissemination of this norm taken by transnational LGBT rights activists and supportive policy elites. The book presents in-depth case studies of Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the US to tease out the extent and causal mechanisms by which the SSU norm has influenced policy debates. It looks at the ways in which the SSU norm has shaped policy discourse about relationship recognition. The book examines why countries with broadly similar parliamentary structures, party systems, levels of religiosity and confessional heritages have adopted different models of SSU policies. Finally, it inspects how much the European SSU norm has affected policy debates in Canada and the US.
In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.