Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice

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9780140250299: Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice

This text explains, without legal jargon, exactly what the rules of international human rights are and what they should be, how they have developed, and in what courts and tribunals they may be asserted and vindicated. There is a discussion of the development of human rights as philosophy, then as law. A series of chapters deal with particular late-1990s issues, also explaining the procedures for asserting the rules in different courts and tribunals. A concluding chapter makes proposals for the future, suggesting a shift from diplomacy to institutions which can recognize and enforce human rights rules. The book includes an analysis of the war crimes trials at the Hague, the first occasion since Nuremburg on which the international community has attempted to punish violators of human rights.

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About the Author:

Geoffrey Robertson QC, a British barrister, has appeared as counsel in many landmark human rights cases, including the trial that exposed Iraqgate and the commission that exposed the international plot to arm the Medellín cartel in Colombia. He is head of Doughty Street Chambers and visiting professor in human rights at Birkbeck College. His books include Freedom, the Individual and the Law; Media Law; and a memoir, The Justice Game.

From Publishers Weekly:

A British lawyer long involved in human rights observations and tribunals, Robinson writes of the history and the contemporary politics of international human rights. He devotes a chapter each to the history of human rights law; the case of General Pinochet; the "Guernica Paradox" (that is, bombing in the service of human rights); the International Court; and recent events in the Balkans, East Timor, Latin America and the U.S. An unabashed supporter of international military intervention, Robinson puts individuals' rights above the right of national sovereignty. Passionate almost to a fault, he occasionally even argues that morality, the defense of human rights, should supersede the rule of international law. To his credit, he is consistently willing to criticize all sidesAand he does criticize the U.S. Congress (for what he says is its occasional desire to place U.S. interests above international human rights), U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (for what Robinson considers his occasional incompetence) and anyone who'd excuse human rights violations in the name of cultural relativism. The author's disgust with the U.N.'s inaction leads him to propose that the human rights community form a separate organization to deal with the issue. At times, Robinson's intense focus on law may blind him to important holes in his argument. But overall, this is an erudite book that adds sophistication to the debate on a crucial subject. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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