Second Report of the Special Rapporteur on Crimes Against Humanity

107 Pages Posted: 14 May 2016

See all articles by Sean D. Murphy

Sean D. Murphy

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: January 21, 2016


In July 2014, the U.N. International Law Commission placed the topic “Crimes against humanity” on its current program of work and appointed a Special Rapporteur. According to the topic proposal, the objective of the Commission is to draft articles for what could become a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity.

In July 2015, based on the Special Rapporteur’s First Report, the Commission provisionally adopted the first four draft articles with commentary. In this Second Report, which will be debated by the Commission during the summer of 2016, the Special Rapporteur proposes an additional six draft articles, which are focused on various actions to be taken by States under their national laws with respect to crimes against humanity. Specifically, the six proposed draft articles address: establishment of national laws that identify offences relating to crimes against humanity (draft article 5); establishment of national jurisdiction so as to address such offences when they occur (draft article 6); general investigation and cooperation for identifying alleged offenders (draft article 7); exercise of national jurisdiction when an alleged offender is present in a State’s territory (draft article 8); submission of the alleged offender to prosecution or extradition or surrender (aut dedere aut judicare) (draft article 9); and fair treatment of the alleged offender at all stages of the process (draft article 10).

Annex I to the report contains the four draft articles provisionally adopted by the Commission to date. Annex II contains the draft articles proposed in this report.

Keywords: crimes against humanity, atrocity, human rights, international criminal law, prevention

JEL Classification: K14, K33

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Sean D., Second Report of the Special Rapporteur on Crimes Against Humanity (January 21, 2016). United Nations International Law Commission, A/CN.4/690, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2016-10, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-10, Available at SSRN: or

Sean D. Murphy (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

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