Annual Meeting

ABA House urges legislation that would formally recognize and punish crimes against humanity


The ABA House of Delegates has adopted a policy urging Congress to enact legislation to prevent and punish crimes against humanity and urges the U.S. government to take an active role in negotiating and adopting a new global convention for the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity.

The following are some examples of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, enslavement and torture committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack on innocent civilians in times of both war and peace. Though genocide and war crimes are formally recognized by international conventions for prosecution, crimes against humanity are not. Thus they fall only under customary international law.

Resolution 300 (PDF) also urges governments of countries with discriminatory laws, regulations and practices to repeal them, and for lawyers and bar associations in those jurisdictions to work to defend victims.

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