Establishing Universal Human Rights through War Crimes Trials and the Need for Cosmopolitan Law in an Age of Diversity


This article explores the practical and philosophical issues associated with bringing diverse moral conceptions into the judgments of international crimes. It is argued that a Habermasian view of cosmopolitan law provides a possibility for envisioning the way international courts can contribute to a universal morality across culturally disparate human rights conceptions. It is also argued that the most universally acceptable human rights conceptions reflect a convergence of procedures and substance. The author explores the treatment of rape in international war crimes tribunals in order to demonstrate how these judgments advance a more universally-acceptable human rights conceptions.

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