This article attempts to explore the origin and evolution of the concept of persecution as a crime against humanity in international law. In particular, I will focus on the latest jurisprudence on this matter and will try to highlight the major challenges ahead for tribunals – both domestic and international – when faced with charges of this kind.
- Judge Fausto Pocar was born in 1939 in Italy. He is Professor of International Law at the University of Milan (Italy). In 1984, he was elected member of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations, a position he held until 2000; he was its chairman in 1991 and 1992. He took part in the world conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, and was special representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Chechnya in 1995 and in Russia in 1996. Judge Fausto Pocar served several times as a member of the Italian delegation to the General Assembly in New York and to the Commission of Human Rights in Geneva. He was also a member of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He is a member of the Institut de droit international and of several academic associations. He was appointed a judge of the ICTY in 1999 and has been a member of the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR since 14 February 2000.