The Principle of Humanity: From Lofty Ideal to Legal Basis for State Responsibility and Individual Criminal Responsibility under International Law?

In this International Law Lunch, Associate Professor Gentian Zyberi will be giving a presentation on this topic, based on work-in-progress to take the form of an article.

Do international courts and tribunals hold States or individuals responsible for conduct which violates the ‘principle of humanity’? In international humanitarian law (‘IHL’) references are frequently made to a ‘principle of humanity’, to ‘principles of humanity’, ‘humane treatment’ or to similar terms.

First the article introduces the principle of humanity and what it means under IHL. Subsequently, the relevance of this principle in terms of providing a basis for State responsibility and individual criminal responsibility is dealt with. To that aim reference is made to relevant case law of international courts and tribunals, as well as relevant legal literature. It is argued that from being a lofty ideal at its early beginnings, over time the principle of humanity has acquired normative substance and occasionally has even provided a basis for State responsibility and individual criminal responsibility under international Law.

PluriCourts organizes international law lunches once a month where scholars from the University of Oslo and external researchers and practitioners present current topics of public international law. The international law lunches are open to all.

Tags: Human Rights, Criminal law
Published Oct. 21, 2015 11:12 AM - Last modified July 24, 2017 2:24 PM