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Post-Cold War history has witnessed a transformation in the relationship of law to violence in global politics. The normative foundations of the international legal order have been shifting their emphasis from state security to human security: the security of persons and peoples. Increasingly, courts, tribunals, other international bodies, and political actors draw from this new framework to assess the rights and wrongs of conflict; determine whether and how to intervene; and impose accountability and responsibility on state and non-state actors. The result of this shift is the law of humanity — a framework that spans the law of war, international human-rights law, and international criminal justice. The author explores the humanity-law phenomenon by looking to its historical roots, its contemporary tendencies, and its effect on the discourse of international relations. Humanity law’s framework is most evident in the jurisprudence of the tribunals — international, regional and domestic — adjudicating disputes often spanning issues of internal and international conflict and security. Yet because most international legal scholarship focuses on individual regimes or tribunals, it is easy to miss the evolution of a jurisprudence connecting the rulings of diverse tribunals and institutions. This jurisprudence tends to expand rights and responsibilities to encompass wider circles of conduct; sweep in additional actors within conflicts; increase the legal responsibilities of states, even for the behavior of non-state actors; and exhibit less deference to the traditional sovereign prerogatives of states, where doing so would interfere with the overriding goal of protecting persons and peoples.



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This material was originally published in Humanity's Law by Ruti Teitel and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press For permission to reuse this material, please visit"

Humanity's Law