From Aggression to Atrocity: Rethinking the History of International Criminal Law
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, 26 June 2018
with Samuel Moyn (Yale)
UCL Laws, Bentham House
Part of the Yale-UCL Workshops in Legal Philosophy
Explaining the shift from the priority of the charge of "aggression" in the beginning of the field of international criminal law to its exclusion in the age of the its reinvention around a suite of atrocity charges is the central task for historians in understanding this domain — and it also should matter for observers of the world today. Yet routinely, international criminal law is presented as running through a smooth trajectory, rather than a stark reversal or at least massive shift. For this reason, this essay gathers together elements for a case for the transformation in the first place, and floats some hypotheses about its timing and causes.
About the speaker
Samuel Moyn is Professor of Law and Professor of History at Yale University.
He has written several books in his fields of European intellectual history and human rights history, including The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010), and edited or coedited a number of others. His most recent book, based on Mellon Distinguished Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in fall 2014, is Christian Human Rights (2015). A final book of human rights history, Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press in April 2018. Over the years he has written in venues such as Boston Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dissent, The Nation, The New Republic, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.