Non-Fiction Books:

Shocking the Conscience of Humanity

Gravity and the Legitimacy of International Criminal Law



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Shocking the Conscience of Humanity by Margaret deGuzman

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The literature and jurisprudence of international criminal law relies on the claim that international crimes are exceptionally grave. They 'shock the conscience of humanity'. They are 'atrocities'. Yet what makes international crimes especially grave is rarely explained. Addressing the balance, Margaret DeGuzman explains what affect the historical occurrences that led to the heavy reliance on the concept of gravity, including the atrocities of the World War II era, and the crimes of Yugoslavia and Rwanda, had on international law. DeGuzman demonstrates how, in later decades, gravity has been used to obscure controversial value choices. This book looks to build the legitimacy of the international criminal law regime by exposing the value choices that the rhetoric of 'gravity' entails, and poses a new framework for assessing the legitimacy of international criminal law. Instead of solely relying on 'gravity', DeGuzman looks to wider values to ensure the continued legitimacy of international criminal law.

Author Biography

Margaret M. deGuzman is a Professor of Law at Temple University's Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she teaches international criminal law, criminal law, and transitional justice. DeGuzman has published well over a dozen articles and book chapters on topics related to the role of international criminal law in the global legal order, and lectures widely on international criminal law.
Release date NZ
February 28th, 2019
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Oxford University Press
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