A Criticism of the International Harm Principle

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A Criticism of the International Harm Principle. / Renzo, M.

In: Criminal Law and Philosophy, Vol. 4, No. 3, 10.2010, p. 267-282.

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Harvard

Renzo, M 2010, 'A Criticism of the International Harm Principle', Criminal Law and Philosophy, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 267-282. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11572-010-9098-1

APA

Renzo, M. (2010). A Criticism of the International Harm Principle. Criminal Law and Philosophy, 4(3), 267-282. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11572-010-9098-1

Vancouver

Renzo M. A Criticism of the International Harm Principle. Criminal Law and Philosophy. 2010 Oct;4(3):267-282. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11572-010-9098-1

Author

Renzo, M. / A Criticism of the International Harm Principle. In: Criminal Law and Philosophy. 2010 ; Vol. 4, No. 3. pp. 267-282.

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@article{1d4217bb34b34e3bb5e34e0ce8a5b710,
title = "A Criticism of the International Harm Principle",
abstract = "According to the received view crimes like torture, rape, enslavement or enforced prostitution are domestic crimes if they are committed as isolated or sporadic events, but become crimes against humanity when they are committed as part of a ‘widespread or systematic attack’ against a civilian population. Only in the latter case can these crimes be prosecuted by the international community. One of the most influential accounts of this idea is Larry May’s International Harm Principle, which states that crimes against humanity are those that somehow ‘harm humanity.’ I argue that this principle is unable to provide an adequate account of crimes against humanity. Moreover, I argue that the principle fails to account for the idea that crimes against humanity are necessarily group based. I conclude by suggesting that the problem with May’s account is that it relies on a harm-based conception of crime which is very popular, but ultimately mistaken. I submit that in order to develop an adequate theory of crimes against humanity we need to abandon the harm-based model and replace it with an alternative conception of crime and criminal law, one based on the notion of accountability.",
author = "M. Renzo",
year = "2010",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1007/s11572-010-9098-1",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "267--282",
journal = "Criminal Law and Philosophy",
issn = "1871-9791",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "3",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - A Criticism of the International Harm Principle

AU - Renzo, M.

PY - 2010/10

Y1 - 2010/10

N2 - According to the received view crimes like torture, rape, enslavement or enforced prostitution are domestic crimes if they are committed as isolated or sporadic events, but become crimes against humanity when they are committed as part of a ‘widespread or systematic attack’ against a civilian population. Only in the latter case can these crimes be prosecuted by the international community. One of the most influential accounts of this idea is Larry May’s International Harm Principle, which states that crimes against humanity are those that somehow ‘harm humanity.’ I argue that this principle is unable to provide an adequate account of crimes against humanity. Moreover, I argue that the principle fails to account for the idea that crimes against humanity are necessarily group based. I conclude by suggesting that the problem with May’s account is that it relies on a harm-based conception of crime which is very popular, but ultimately mistaken. I submit that in order to develop an adequate theory of crimes against humanity we need to abandon the harm-based model and replace it with an alternative conception of crime and criminal law, one based on the notion of accountability.

AB - According to the received view crimes like torture, rape, enslavement or enforced prostitution are domestic crimes if they are committed as isolated or sporadic events, but become crimes against humanity when they are committed as part of a ‘widespread or systematic attack’ against a civilian population. Only in the latter case can these crimes be prosecuted by the international community. One of the most influential accounts of this idea is Larry May’s International Harm Principle, which states that crimes against humanity are those that somehow ‘harm humanity.’ I argue that this principle is unable to provide an adequate account of crimes against humanity. Moreover, I argue that the principle fails to account for the idea that crimes against humanity are necessarily group based. I conclude by suggesting that the problem with May’s account is that it relies on a harm-based conception of crime which is very popular, but ultimately mistaken. I submit that in order to develop an adequate theory of crimes against humanity we need to abandon the harm-based model and replace it with an alternative conception of crime and criminal law, one based on the notion of accountability.

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U2 - 10.1007/s11572-010-9098-1

DO - 10.1007/s11572-010-9098-1

M3 - Article

VL - 4

SP - 267

EP - 282

JO - Criminal Law and Philosophy

T2 - Criminal Law and Philosophy

JF - Criminal Law and Philosophy

SN - 1871-9791

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ER -