The Draft Convention on Crimes Against Humanity: What to Do with the Definition?

Morten Bergsmo, ed, On the Draft Crimes Against Humanity Convention (FICHL 2014)

Queen's University Legal Research Paper No. 2015-013

30 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2014 Last revised: 11 Mar 2015

See all articles by Darryl Robinson

Darryl Robinson

Queen's University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 27, 2014

Abstract

A centrally important and influential feature of the Draft Convention on Crimes Against Humanity will, obviously, be its definition of the crime. It is most likely that the Draft Convention will use the definition from Article 7 of the Rome Statute. There are however significant legitimate concerns about aspects of Article 7, most particularly the “policy element”. This chapter proposes that commentary to the Draft Convention can mitigate the concerns by highlighting key points from pertinent authorities. The proposed commentary draws on national jurisprudence and other authorities, as well as the logical structure of Article 7, showing that the policy element is simply an in limine filter screening out situations of unconnected ordinary crimes. The current debate has neglected valuable national judicial contributions that help harmonize the seemingly fractured international sources, and they do so in a way that promotes a workable definition.

Keywords: crimes against humanity, policy element, fragmentation, widespread, systematic

JEL Classification: K14, K33

Suggested Citation

Robinson, Darryl, The Draft Convention on Crimes Against Humanity: What to Do with the Definition? (November 27, 2014). Morten Bergsmo, ed, On the Draft Crimes Against Humanity Convention (FICHL 2014); Queen's University Legal Research Paper No. 2015-013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2531530

Darryl Robinson (Contact Author)

Queen's University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Macdonald Hall
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 K7L3N6
Canada

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