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InHumanity's Law, renowned legal scholar Ruti Teitel presents an incisive, well-substantiated analysis of a recent sea-change in international human-rights law. She argues that post-Cold War history has witnessed a key transformation: the normative emphasis of the international legal order has been shifting 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. The result is the new law of humanity--which spans the law of war, international-human-rights law, and international criminal justice. Humanity law's framework, Teitel suggests, is most evident in the jurisprudence of the tribunals--international, regional and domestic--that now adjudicate disputes spanning issues of internal and international conflict and security. Yet because most international legal scholarship focuses on individual regimes or tribunals, it has been easy to miss the evolution of this new jurisprudence connecting the rulings of diverse tribunals and institutions. This jurisprudence's influence is apt to be profound. Its trend is to expand rights and responsibilities to encompass wider circles of conduct; sweep in additional actors within conflicts; increase states' legal responsibilities, including for the behavior of non-state actors; and exhibit less deference to states' traditional sovereign prerogatives--all in order to serve the overriding goal of protecting persons and peoples. Human-rights violations that could, in the past, have occurred with impunity, are subject to an enforceable, growing body of humanity law. Teitel offers examples from Europe, North America, South America, and Africa, so that readers seeking a nuanced understanding of the law applicable to modern human-rights conflicts around the globe, and the way that law is likely to develop, will findHumanity's Lawa deeply satisfying account.
Ruti G. Teitel is Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law at New York Law School and Visiting Professor at London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of Transitional Justice (OUP 2000).