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The Birth of the New JusticeThe Internationalization of Crime and Punishment, 1919-1950$
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Mark Lewis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660285.001.0001

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Crimes against Humanity and Crimes of Denationalization: The Victory of Political Expediency Over Justice

Crimes against Humanity and Crimes of Denationalization: The Victory of Political Expediency Over Justice

Chapter:
(p.64) 3 Crimes against Humanity and Crimes of Denationalization: The Victory of Political Expediency Over Justice
Source:
The Birth of the New Justice
Author(s):

Mark A. Lewis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660285.003.0004

Jurists at the Paris Peace Conference discussed crimes committed by a government against its own population, and crimes committed by a military to destroy the national culture of an occupied population. Yet jurists in the 1920s wanted to prevent these types of violence through population exchanges and treaties to protect collective minority rights, not by establishing new laws backed by criminal prosecution. International trials in the Balkans were difficult to implement because of political instability, plus military tribunals were a domestic tool of political justice. Jurists such as Nicholas Politis drafted population exchange agreements to deal with forced expulsions that had already occurred, plus the dominant view was that separating populations was the best way to ensure social peace. Thus, discussions about the crime of “denationalization” and “crimes against humanity” at the Paris Peace Conference did not immediately enter the intellectual framework of the “new justice.”

Keywords:   Crimes against Humanity, Denationalization, Armenian genocide, Population exchanges, Minorities, Political justice

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