Banal Crimes Against Humanity: The Case of Asylum Seekers in Greece
29 Pages Posted: 4 May 2015 Last revised: 7 May 2015
Date Written: May 5, 2015
In recent years, Greece has inflicted widespread inhuman and degrading treatment on asylum seekers. The European Union border agency Frontex has knowingly exposed asylum seekers to such treatment in Greek detention centres. This article argues that acts of Greek and Frontex agents may lead to individual responsibility for crimes against humanity under Article 7 1. (e), (h) and (k) of the Rome Statute. Investigation of such acts remains unlikely, not due to the relevant doctrine, but due to a popular imagination of crimes against humanity as radically evil acts.
But International Criminal Law should not only aim to punish radically evil acts. Equally important is seemingly banal violence that appears as an inevitable by-product of global social and economic structures. Such is the violence currently wielded against asylum seekers. Confronting the latter category requires the ICC Prosecutor to realize the political nature of her judgement.
Keywords: International Law, International Criminal Law, Refugees, Migration, Human Rights, legal theory
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