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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x Jaar 2018 x
Artikel

Access_open ‘Cruel Men Can Do Kind Things and Kind Men Can Do Cruel Things’

Reconsidering the Enemy of Humanity in Contemporary International Criminal Trial Discourse

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden humanity, international criminal justice, opening statements, trial discourse, perpetrators
Auteurs Sofia Stolk
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article discusses empirical examples from international trial transcripts to see if and why there is a need to use the ‘enemy of all humanity’ label in contemporary international criminal justice discourse. It shows an absence of explicit uses of the concept and an ambiguous set of implicit references; the hosti generis humani concept is simultaneously too precise and too broad for ICJ discourse. Based on these findings, the article challenges David Luban’s suggestion that the term can be undone from its dehumanizing potential and used adequately in the ICJ context.


Sofia Stolk
Sofia Stolk is researcher at T.M.C. Asser Instituut/University of Amsterdam and research fellow at the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, Amsterdam.
Artikel

Access_open On the Humanity of the Enemy of Humanity

A Response to My Critics

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden hostis generis humani, humanity, International criminal justice, piracy
Auteurs David Luban
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Antony Duff, Marc de Wilde, Louis Sicking, and Sofia Stok offer several criticisms of my “The Enemy of All Humanity,” but central to all of them is concern that labeling people hostis generis humani dehumanizes them, and invites murder or extrajudicial execution. In response I distinguish political, legal, and theoretical uses of the ancient label. I agree with the critics that the political use is toxic and the legal use is dispensable. However, the theoretical concept is crucial in international criminal law, which rests on the assumptions that the moral heinousness of core crimes makes them the business of all humanity. Furthermore, far from dehumanizing their perpetrators, calling them to account before the law recognizes that they are no different from the rest of humanity. This response also offers rejoinders to more specific objections raised by the critics.


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