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The concept of crimes against humanity and the spirit of our time

This paper purports to explore the nature of crimes against humanity as a unique family of crimes and how the concept of crimes against humanity embodies the spirit of our time. It argues that what makes crimes against humanity profound crimes is the fact that they are crimes against the metaphysical and practical identity of all human beings; they injure humanity as the intersubjectivity of all human beings. Doing so, it will first demonstrate how the concept of crimes against humanity bears out the truth that the norm of humanity is a legal norm; humanity is a possible object of legal injury and a legitimate subject to which action is held accountable for. It then examines the four basic features of crimes against humanity, indicating that a crime against humanity is a global crime that is motivated to injure humanity, policy-laden, and systematic. Finally, it further discusses the nature and precepts of the laws of humanity in virtue of which crimes against humanity are defined as so and so.

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