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Taking Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Seriously in International Criminal Law


Part of Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law

  • Date Published: July 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107696556

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About the Authors
  • Is the neglect of economic, social and cultural abuses in international criminal law a problem of positive international law or the result of choices made by lawyers involved in mechanisms such as criminal prosecutions or truth commissions? Evelyne Schmid explores this question via an assessment of the relationship between violations of economic, social and cultural rights and international crimes. Based on a thorough examination of the elements of international crimes, she demonstrates how a situation can simultaneously be described as a violation of economic, social and cultural rights and as an international crime. Against the background of the emerging debates on selectivity in international criminal law and the role of socio-economic and cultural abuses in transitional justice, she argues that international crimes overlapping with violations of economic, social and cultural rights deserve to be taken seriously, for much the same reasons as other international crimes.

    • The first book to systematically study the overlap between international crimes and violations of economic, social and cultural rights
    • Provides an overview of the relevance of economic, social and cultural rights for approaches in which international criminal law plays a role, be it criminal proceedings, commissions of inquiry, truth commissions, reparations programmes or preventative strategies
    • Proposes solutions to some of the most difficult challenges relating to the legacies of widespread human rights abuses in the aftermath of armed conflicts and other situations of violence
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A meticulous study that provides sound guidance to legal scholars and practitioners who have to consider when and how leaders incur personal responsibility under international criminal law for deliberately trampling on the economic and social rights of their people.' Jan Arno Hessbruegge, former Legal Advisor to the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

    'This important book breaks new ground in its thoughtful and sometimes provocative analysis of the role of economic, social and cultural rights within international criminal law. Its impact on the conduct of prosecutions and our collective vision of the responsibilities of the International Criminal Court should not be underestimated.' William A. Schabas, Middlesex University, London

    'The significance of this book is that it makes a very impassioned and coherent argument for paying adequate attention to economic, social and cultural rights in the context of international criminal law.' Andrew B. Clapham, Graduate Institute of International Law and Development Studies, Geneva

    'The book is well researched and draws from an abundance of cases before international and national courts. The structure is methodical and solid. Schmid clearly sets out her argument at the onset and follows it throughout the book.' Marcos Zunino, The Cambridge Law Journal

    'Written with careful attention to the details of case law and practice of non- or quasi-judicial mechanisms, and informed by a strong position that ESCR violations properly fall within the ambit of international criminal law, the book weaves together a large amount of material in a very readable way, providing insight on both international criminal law and human rights law in the process.' Mara Tignino, European Journal of International Law

    'Taking Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Seriously in International Criminal Law is a significant and timely contribution not only for the broader scheme of international criminal law, but more specifically for the expanding field of transitional justice, as well. Evelyne Schmid offers a meticulous and systematic analysis of the neglect of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) violations in international criminal law, relying on extensive sources that include legal cases, academic literature, and real life situations.' Huma Saeed and Wouter Vandenhole, Human Rights Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107696556
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Rethinking hierarchies of human rights in international criminal law
    3. Relating international crimes to ESCR violations
    4. Crimes against humanity revisited: from Nuremberg to Zimbabwe
    5. Four groups of war crimes and the forgotten trial of Gauleiter Greiser
    6. Genocide and the battles Raphael Lemkin did not lose
    7. Torture, slavery and other crimes overlapping with ESCR violations
    8. Corollaries of qualifying ESCR violations as international crimes
    9. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Evelyne Schmid, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
    Evelyne Schmid is an associate professor of international law at Université de Lausanne, Switzerland. She was previously based at the Universität Basel, Bangor University and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). She also acted as the project coordinator for the International Criminal Court's Legal Tools Project at TRIAL in Geneva.

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