David Scheffer’s fascinating proposal, if I understand it properly, calls for an amalgamation of various categories of internationally condemned behavior—mainly genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes—into a new concept known as ‘‘atrocity law.’’ This will facilitate implementation of the responsibility to protect vulnerable populations. Pedantic debates about matters of essentially technical relevance to criminal prosecution will not be allowed to impede sincere efforts at intervention or to provide a pretext for those who shirk their obligations. Leslie Green mooted a similar idea in the mid-1990s, but it didn’t gain any traction at the time.1 In informal discussions as part of the drafting of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), I argued for Green’s proposal to conflate crimes against humanity and war crimes but was regularly told that this simply wasn’t going to fly.
Schabas, William A.
"Semantics or Substance? David Scheffer’s Welcome Proposal to Strengthen Criminal Accountability for Atrocities,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol2/iss1/4