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Artikel

Access_open The Enemy of All Humanity

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden hostis generis humani, piracy, crimes against humanity, universal jurisdiction, radical evil
Auteurs David Luban
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    Trationally, the term “enemy of all humanity” (hostis generis humani) referred to pirates. In contemporary international criminal law, it refers to perpetrators of crimes against humanity and other core. This essay traces the evolution of the concept, and then offers an analysis that ties it more closely to ancient tyrants than to pirates. Some object that the label is dehumanizing, and justifies arbitrary killing of the “enemy of humanity.” The essay admits the danger, but defends the concept if it is restricted to fair trials. Rather than dehumanizing its target, calling the hostis generis humani to account in a court of law is a way of recognizing that radical evil can be committed by humans no different from any of us.


David Luban
David Luban is University Professor in Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University.
Artikel

Access_open A new interpretation of the modern two-pronged tests for insanity

Why legal insanity should not be a ‘status defense’

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden substantive criminal law, excuses, insanity defense, status defense
Auteurs Johannes Bijlsma
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Michael Moore has argued that modern two-pronged tests for legal insanity are wrongheaded and that the insanity defense instead should be a ‘status defense’. If Moore is right, than the laws on insanity in most legal systems are wrong. This merits a critical examination of Moore’s critique and his alternative approach. In this paper I argue that Moore’s status approach to insanity is either under- or overinclusive. A new interpretation of the modern tests for insanity is elaborated that hinges on the existence of a legally relevant difference between the mentally disordered defendant and the ‘normal’ defendant. This interpretation avoids Moore’s criticism as well as the pitfalls of the status approach.


Johannes Bijlsma
Johannes Bijlsma is assistant professor of criminal law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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