YJIL Online – Volume 39

International Criminal Justice and the Protection of Human Rights: The Rule of Law or the Hubris of Law?

James J. Silk

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we might say of our times, it was the age of human rights, it was the age of genocide and torture, it was the era of abundance, it was the era of hunger, it was the dawn of global justice, it was the enduring night of deprivation and abuse. Despite the relentless reports of atrocities and human suffering, human rights activists and critics alike have recently identified human rights as “the idea of our time, the only political-moral idea that has received universal acceptance,” “the dominant moral narrative for thinking about world affairs,” and “the major article of faith of a secular culture that fears it believes in nothing else[,] . . . the lingua franca of global moral thought.”