Data publikacji : 2020-05-12

Torture, Crimes Against Humanity and the Abuse of International Law

Dział: Artykuły


In 2014, United Nations Committee Against Torture raised the possibility that the Vatican’s handling of sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests constituted torture under international law. A victims group even filed a petition with the International Criminal Court accusing Pope Benedict XIV and other Church officials of “crimes against humanity” and urged that they be prosecuted for their alleged role in the crimes.

Without defending the perpetrators of the abuse, this paper argues that the identified cases do not meet the legal standards to constitute either torture or crimes against humanity under international law. While those individuals who are guilty of abuse should be punished, neither they nor the Church officials who dealt with them (or failed to do so) are responsible for torture or crimes against humanity. Arguments to the contrary have been advanced in bad faith.


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