25 November 2018

Crimes against “humaneness”? The Russian interpretation of Crimes Against Humanity is generally recognized that the term ‘humaneness’ is the least appropriate among several candidates in the English language for use with crimes against humanity.
Yet, this term has been used by one of the official languages of the United Nations — Russian. Crimes against humanity has been translated as ‘crimes against humaneness’ — prestupleniya protiv chelovechnosti — in the Russian versions of statutes of international criminal tribunals and courts. This translation distorts the concept of crimes against humanity and diminishes the gravity of this group of crimes. Indeed, the post-Nuremberg meaning of the term ‘humanity’ has evolved into ‘humankind’.

Journal of International Criminal Justice | Oxford Academic published my article “Crimes against ‘Humaneness’? The Russian interpretation of Crimes Against Humanity” (see here).

The article analyses the circumstances leading to the appearance of this term in the Russian version of draft Article 6(c) of the Statute of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. It demonstrates inconsistencies in Russian official translations of the notion which have resulted in interpretative confusions.

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