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The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law$
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Jenny S. Martinez

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195391626.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 10 May 2021

A Bridge to the Future

A Bridge to the Future

Links to Contemporary International Human Rights Law

(p.148) Chapter 8 A Bridge to the Future
The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law

Jenny S. Martinez

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the pre-World War II history of international law as a mechanism for the protection of human rights, and the anti-slave trade movement as a central part of that missing picture. Legal actions against the slave trade introduced into modern international legal discourse the idea that human rights violations were offenses of concern to humankind and not just matters between the people and their sovereign. It is this blending of individual human rights with broader ideas of humanity and humanitarianism that led to the development of international legal institutions like the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile, discussions of international criminal law, both immediately before and after the Nuremberg trials, focused on crimes against peace, or crimes that threatened peace.

Keywords:   international law, anti-slave trade, human rights violation, International Criminal Court, Nuremberg trials

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