Crimes Against Humanity and Hostes Generis Humani


Duff RA (2018) Crimes Against Humanity and Hostes Generis Humani. Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, 2018 (2), pp. 138-148.

First paragraph: The bulk of David Luban’s paper, ‘The Enemy of All Humanity,’ consists in a wonderfully rich, nuanced genealogy of the idea of ‘hostis generis humani’ – the enemy of all humanity or, as Luban notes it can also be expressed, ‘communis hostis omnium,’ the common enemy of all. That genealogy shows, inter alia, how inadequate and over-simplified some modern readings of hostis generis humani are, including my own:1 but I am not competent to discuss it here – all I can do is admire and learn. Instead, I will focus on the final part of Luban’s paper, in which he offers us a contemporary analysis of hostis generis humani, to show how it can illuminate the character of genocide and crimes against humanity as core crimes in international criminal law, and to show how bodies like the International Criminal Court can properly claim jurisdiction over them.

hostis generis humani; Luban; crimes against humanity; political community; international criminal law

Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy: Volume 2018, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2018
Date accepted by journal01/10/2018