Hostis Humani Generis Legal Definition: Latin: the enemy of mankind. Related Terms: War , Universal Jurisdiction Common enemies of all mankind. In Filartiga, Justice Irving Kaufman of the United States Court of Appeals wrote: "[F]or the purposes of civil liability, the torturer has become - like the pirate and slave trader before him - hostis humani generis, an enemy of all mankind." In Sentell, Justice Brown of the United States Supreme Court: "[A] ferocious dog is looked upon as hostis humani generis, and as having no right to his life which man is bound to respect." For example, pirates are often described as hostis humani generi, as are terrorists. REFERENCES: Filartiga v Pena-Iralam, 630 F. 2d 876 (1980) In re Piracy Jure Gentium 1934 A.C. 586 Sentell v New Orlasns & Carrollton Railway Co., 166 U.S. 698 (1897) Categories & Topics: Dictionary of Latin Law Terms Duhaime's Criminal Law Dictionary Duhaime's International Law Dictionary Duhaime's Military Law Dictionary Unless otherwise noted, this page was written by Lloyd Duhaime of Duhaime.org Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only) If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!