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Criminality and Human Rights

NCJ Number
Revue de science criminelle et de droit penal compare Issue: 1 Dated: (January-March 1978) Pages: 1-11
M Lopez-Rey
Date Published
11 pages
The establishment of international codes protecting human rights is advocated because of the international significance of human rights violations.
The critical point in defining human rights violations is knowing who possesses the political power and how that power is employed. Conformity to the law does not eliminate the possibility of crimes, as human rights violations may have been legalized by decrees of the established powers. Two types of crimes are distinguished: ordinary crimes directed against persons, property, the family, public order, the administration, the penal system, public health, and so forth; and crimes committed under cover of an official position as a consequence of a political, ideological, or revolutionary act in violation of international law. The most common human rights violations include murder, torture, rape, destruction of property, terrorism, hostage taking, and illegal interference in professional or private life. These types of violations are widespread, and many governments that perpetrate such crimes deny responsibility. Prevention of human rights violations is an essential part of national and international development that cannot be subordinated to the production and consumption of goods. It is emphasized that the formulation of codes of conduct for members of the police, jurists, corrections personnel, and multinational corporations will have little effect if existing human rights agreements are not revised and new ones adopted. Notes are supplied.


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