International Criminal Law and the Future of Humanity: A Theory of the Crime of Omnicide
27 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2021
Date Written: August 1, 2019
This paper argues that current international criminal law should be expanded to include omnicide, or the intentional destruction of humanity. I claim that omnicide is not a special case of crimes against humanity or genocide, but is distinct from both in a number of important ways. I further argue that establishing a specialized convention on omnicide is urgent given the exponential development of dual-use emerging technologies, which could enable a large number of state and nonstate actors to unilaterally bring about the extinction of humanity. Although I do not intend to outline a complete theory of the crime of omnicide, I do attempt to lay a foundation for future research on this important topic.
Keywords: international criminal law; omnicide; existential risk; genocide
JEL Classification: NA
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation