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Liability for gross human rights violations: from criminal to civil remedies

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. H.A. Strydom en
dc.contributor.author Bachmann, Sascha-Dominik Oliver Vladimir
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-08T13:05:46Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-08T13:05:46Z
dc.date.issued 2009-01-08T13:05:46Z
dc.date.submitted 2006-07
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1841
dc.description LL.D. en
dc.description.abstract The starting point of this research is the observation that the protection of human rights and the prevention of human rights atrocities can only take place through a universal system of different means of accountability which create enough deterrence for the future state or individual offender. This research consists of four parts: Part A explores and outlines the different existing ways and means of traditional human rights protection under the international and regional human rights regimes. It focuses on the aspect of victim protection from human rights violations through protective means available under the different human rights regimes. Part A concludes that the existing means and ways of protecting human rights are by far not sufficient to ensure the compliance of states with the existing provisions on human rights protection and that the protection of human rights remains an unfinished chapter of international law. Parts B and C analyze the evolving approach to hold states and individuals directly accountable for gross human rights violations, via the means of criminal and/or civil responsibility. Part B explores the possibilities of human rights protection by the means of criminal prosecution. It outlines the development of the concept of criminal responsibility from the days of Nuremberg to the present International Criminal Court in The Hague. The main focus is on domestic criminal procedures as a supplement and possibly alternative to international prosecution. This part concludes with the observation that the present mechanisms and means available under the existing international and domestic jurisdictions fail to establish individual criminal accountability at the necessary global scale and therefore fail to deter the commission of future genocide. Part C explains the necessity to establish an international system of civil liability for human rights atrocities as a supplement and (even) alternative to the existing mechanisms of accountability. The present possibilities for the individual victim to obtain financial redress for his suffering under international law are outlined and discussed. The further option of asserting civil legal action for human rights violations under domestic jurisdictions is scrutinized and evaluated with a special focus on the USA as the state which has so far the strongest adjudication of human rights claims. This part concludes with the finding that the individual victim of human rights violations still lacks the necessary forum with the respective judicial means to hold the perpetrator financially liable for his human rights violations. Part D introduces a draft Statute on a (future) Convention on Individual Civil Liability for Human Rights Atrocities as a supplement for the existing ways of human rights protection. Each provision of the draft statute is evaluated in the context of already existing legal instruments, jurisprudence and, if available, examples of customary usage. The draft’s overall aim is the establishment of a working system of civil liability for the individual and corporate human rights perpetrator for a selection of egregious human rights atrocities qualifying as so-called international or transnational human rights torts. This research concludes with the finding that only a combination of the existing ways and means of human rights protection, the consequent application of the existing provisions and finally their further development can safeguard the protection of human rights at a global scale. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Human rights en
dc.subject Criminal liability en
dc.subject Liability (Law) en
dc.subject Actions and defenses en
dc.title Liability for gross human rights violations: from criminal to civil remedies en
dc.type Thesis en

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