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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x Jaar 2018 x
Artikel

Access_open ‘God’s Friend, the Whole World’s Enemy’

Reconsidering the role of piracy in the development of universal jurisdiction.

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden Cicero, Augustine, Bartolus, piracy, universal jurisdiction
Auteurs Louis Sicking
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Piracy holds a special place within the field of international law because of the universal jurisdiction that applies. This article reconsiders the role of piracy in the development of universal jurisdiction. While usually a connection is established between Cicero’s ‘enemy of all’ and modern conceptions of pirates, it is argued that ‘enemy of the human species’ or ‘enemy of humanity’ is a medieval creation, used by Bartolus, which must be understood in the wake of the Renaissance of the twelfth century and the increased interest for the study of Roman Law. The criminalization of the pirate in the late Middle Ages must be understood not only as a consequence of royal power claiming a monopoly of violence at sea. Both the Italian city-states and the Hanse may have preceded royal power in criminalizing pirates. All the while, political motives in doing so were never absent.


Louis Sicking
Louis Sicking is Aemilius Papinianus Professor of History of Public International Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and lecturer in medieval and early modern history at Universiteit Leiden.
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
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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.
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