The Führer principle of international law : individual responsibility and collective punishment
Larry Catá Backer
Host item entries:
Penn State international law review, Vol. 21, no. 3, 2003, p. 509-567
Source : https://elibrary.law.psu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1572&context=psilr (last accessed on 23.11.2020)
This article applies the lessons of the kingship of Saul and the inversions of modernity to explore the absurdity of our emerging system of international law which is obsessed with individual responsibility for communal acts and in which communal responsibility appears in the academic literature as something of a novelty. For this purpose, it focuses on the development of a purported prohibition under international humanitarian law of collective punishment applied to house demolitions in the territories which are currently administrated by Israel. In particular, application of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 serves to reinforce the power of the community to nurture a fundamental culturally constitutive element in Western culturally acceptable ways. International humanitarian law subsidizes the cultural project of producing hatred as a communal activity, and taxes state action that interferes with the collective activities of these communities.
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