Chapter 6 Systemic Deprivation of Access to Essential Medicine and Medical Care – a Crime against Humanity?

In: Biolaw and International Criminal Law

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Abstract

The category of crimes against humanity empowers the international community with a tool to respond to the gravest violations of human rights. Many claim that economic and social rights have often been neglected in terms of the protection offered by international criminal law. While the author agrees that ‘existing definitions of international crimes accommodate abusive violations of economic, social and cultural rights’, she also accepts that this possibility has not yet fully materialized in practice. Still, the denial of access to essential medicine and the protection against medical experimentation are both qualified as war crimes. This contribution intends to go a step further and deals with the need to consider the systematic deprivation of access to essential medicine and medical care, freed from all conflict nexus, as crimes against humanity as defined in article 7 of the icc Statute (ICCSt). One of the first questions that arises is whether article 21 of the ICCSt permits such interpretation, or even demands it.

Biolaw and International Criminal Law

Towards Interdisciplinary Synergies

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