This article aims to evidence both the existence of a close relationship between
the notions of serious human rights violations and crimes against humanity, and how this
works in international law. To do so, international legal sources such as the United Nations
practice, case-law of international and hybrid criminal courts and tribunals, and case-law of
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and other human rights bodies are taken into account.
Thus, this article analyses how these and other international sources have examined the
above-mentioned relationship, i.e., inter alia the similarities and differences between serious
human rights abuses and the legal objective and subjective elements of crimes against humanity.
Accordingly, it is found that, although some differences exist, the notion of serious human
rights violations underlies the legal concept of crimes against humanity. In turn, this is linked
to the relationship between those two categories of international law.