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Human Rights after Hitler reveals thousands of forgotten US and Allied war crimes prosecutions against Hitler and other Axis war criminals based on a popular movement for justice that stretched from Poland to the Pacific. These cases provide a great foundation for twenty-first-century human rights and accompany the achievements of the Nuremberg trials and postwar conventions. They include indictments of perpetrators of the Holocaust made while the death camps were still operating, which confounds the conventional wisdom that there was no official Allied response to the Holocaust at the time. This history also brings long overdue credit to the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC), which operated during and after World War II. From the 1940s until a recent lobbying effort by Plesch and colleagues, the UNWCC’s files were kept out of public view in the UN archives under pressure from the US government. The book answers why the commission and its files were closed and reveals that the lost precedents set by these cases have enormous practical utility for prosecuting war crimes today. They cover US and Allied prosecutions of torture, including “water treatment,” wartime sexual assault, and crimes by foot soldiers who were “just following orders.” Plesch’s book will fascinate anyone with an interest in the history of the Second World War as well as provide ground-breaking revelations for historians and human rights practitioners alike.
Johannes Morsink argues that the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the human rights movement today are direct descendants of revulsion to the Holocaust and the desire to never let it happen again. Much recent scholarship about human rights has severed this link between the Holocaust, the Universal Declaration, and contemporary human rights activism in favor of seeing the 1970s as the era of genesis. Morsink forcefully presents his case that the Universal Declaration was indeed a meaningful though underappreciated document for the human rights movement and that the declaration and its significance cannot be divorced from the Holocaust. He reexamines this linkage through the working papers of the commission that drafted the declaration as well as other primary sources. This work seeks to reset scholarly understandings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the foundations of the contemporary human rights movement.
What is humanitarianism? This authoritative book provides a comprehensive analysis of the original idea and its evolution, exploring its triangulation with war and politics. Peter J. Hoffman and Thomas G. Weiss trace the origins of humanitarianism, its social movement, and the institutions (international humanitarian law) and organizations (providers of assistance and protection) that comprise it. They consider the international humanitarian system’s ability to regulate the conduct of war, to improve the wellbeing of its victims, and to prosecute war criminals. Probing the profound changes in the culture and capacities that underpin the sector and alter the meaning of humanitarianism, they assess the reinventions that constitute “revolutions in humanitarian affairs.” The book begins with traditions and perspectives—ranging from classic international relations approaches to “Critical Humanitarian Studies” —and reviews seminal wartime emergencies and the creation and development of humanitarian agencies in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The authors then examine the rise of “new humanitarianisms” after the Cold War’s end and contemporary cases after 9/11. The authors continue by unpacking the most recent “revolutions”—the International Criminal Court and the “Responsibility to Protect”—as well as such core challenges as displacement camps, infectious diseases, eco-refugees, and marketization. They conclude by evaluating the contemporary system and the prospects for further transformations, identifying scholarly puzzles and the acute operational problems faced by practitioners.
The past two hundred years have seen the transformation of public international law from a rule-based extrusion of diplomacy into a fully-fledged legal system. Landmark Cases in Public International Law examines decisions that have contributed to the development of international law into an integrated whole, whilst also creating specialised sub-systems that stand alone as units of analysis. The significance of these decisions is not taken for granted, with contributors critically interrogating the cases to determine if their reputation as 'landmarks' is deserved. Emphasis is also placed on seeing each case as a diplomatic artefact, highlighting that international law, while unquestionably a legal system, remains reliant on the practice and consent of states as the prime movers of development. The cases selected cover a broad range of subject areas including state immunity, human rights, the environment, trade and investment, international organisations, international courts and tribunals, the laws of war, international crimes, and the interface between international and municipal legal systems. A wide array of international and domestic courts are also considered, from the International Court of Justice to the European Court of Human Rights, World Trade Organization Appellate Body, US Supreme Court and other adjudicative bodies. The result is a three-dimensional picture of international law: what it was, what it is, and what it might yet become.
An account of the bold struggle that transforms Mr. Jone's Manor Farm into Animal Farm - a wholly democratic society built on the credo that All Animals Are Created Equal. Out of their cleverness, the pigs Napoleon, Squealer and Snowball emerge as leaders of the new community in a subtle evolution that bears an insidious familiarity. The climax is the brutal totalitarian rule is re-established with the bloodstained postscript to the founding slogan: But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others ...
Genocide and war crimes are increasingly the focus of scholarly and activist attention. Much controversy exists over how, precisely, these grim phenomena should be defined and conceptualized. Genocide, War Crimes & the West tackles this controversy, and clarifies our understanding of an important but under-researched dimension: the involvement of the US and other liberal democracies in actions that are conventionally depicted as the exclusive province of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. Many of the authors are eminent scholars and/or renowned activists; in most cases, their contributions are specifically written for this volume. In the opening and closing sections of the book, analytical issues are considered, including questions of responsibility for genocide and war crimes, and institutional responses at both the domestic and international levels. The central section is devoted to an unprecedentedly broad range of original case studies of western involvement, or alleged involvement, in war crimes and genocide. At a moment in history when terrorism has become a near universal focus of public attention, this volume makes clear why the West as a result of both its historical legacy and contemporary actions so often excites widespread resentment and opposition throughout the rest of the world.

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