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Author: Christine Byron

This book provides a critical analysis of the definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity as construed in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Each crime is discussed from its origins in treaty or customary international law, through developments as a result of the jurisprudence of modern ad hoc or internationalised tribunals, to modifications introduced by the Rome Statute and the Elements of Crimes. The influence of human rights law upon the definition of crimes is discussed, as is the possible impact of State reservations on the underlying treaties that form the basis for the conduct covered by the offences in the Rome Statute. Examples are also given from recent conflicts to aid a ‘real-life’ discussion of the type of conduct over which the International Criminal Court may take jurisdiction.

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Other offences in international armed conflicts
Christine Byron

This chapter discusses Article 8(2)(b) of the Rome Statute. It covers the origins and development of Article 8(2)(b)(i) Attacking civilians; Article 8(2)(b)(ii) Attacking civilian objects; Article 8(2)(b)(iii) Attacking personnel or objects involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission; Article 8(2)(b)(iv) Excessive incidental death, injury or damage; Article 8(2)(b)(v) Attacking undefended places; Article 8(2)(b)(vi) Killing or wounding a person hors de combat; Article 8(2)(b)(vii) Improper use of a flag of truce, of the flag or of the insignia and uniform of the enemy or of the United Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions; Article 8(2)(b)(viii) Deportation or transfer of population; Article 8(2)(b)(ix) Attacking protected objects; Article 8(2)(b)(x) Mutilation or medical or scientific experimentation; Article 8(2)(b)(xi) Treacherously killing or wounding; Article 8(2)(b)(xii) Denying quarter; Article 8(2)(b)(xiii) Destroying or seizing the enemy's property; Article 8(2)(b)(xiv) Depriving nationals of the hostile party of rights or actions; Article 8(2)(b)(xv) Compelling participation in enemy military operations; Article 8(2)(b)(xvi) Pillaging; Article 8(2)(b)(xvii) Employing poison or poisoned weapons; Article 8(2)(b)(xviii) Employing prohibited gases, liquids, materials or devices; Article 8(2)(b)(xix) The use of expanding bullets; Article 8(2)(b)(xx) Employing weapons, projectiles or materials or methods of warfare to be listed in an annex to the Statute; Article 8(2)(b)(xxi) Committing outrages upon personal dignity; Article 8(2)(b)(xxii) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation, or sexual violence; Article 8(2)(b)(xxiii) Using protected persons as shields; Article 8(2)(b)(xxiv) Attacking objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions; Article 8(2)(b)(xxv) Starvation as a method of warfare; and Article 8(2)(b)(xxvi) Using, conscripting or enlisting children.

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
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Non-international armed conflicts
Christine Byron

This chapter begins with a background to non-international armed conflicts and a brief discussion of the threshold for the application of Article 8(2)(c) and (e). It then covers the origins and development of Article 8(2)(c)(i) Violence to life and person; Article 8(2)(c)(iv) Sentencing or execution without due process; Article 8(2)(e)(ii) Attacking objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions; Article 8(2)(e)(vii) Using, conscripting or enlisting children; Article 8(2)(e)(viii) Displacing civilians; Article 8(2)(e)(ix) Killing or wounding treacherously a combatant adversary; Article 8(2)(e)(xii) Destroying or seizing the enemy's property; and Article 8(3).

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
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Grave breaches
Christine Byron

This chapter discusses Article 8(1) and Article 8(2) of the Rome Statue. The discussion of Article 8(1) covers jurisdiction in respect of war crimes and differentiation between international and non-international armed conflicts under the Rome Statute. The discussion of Article 8(2) covers Article 8(2)(a) Persons or property protected under the ‘grave breach’ provisions of the Geneva Conventions; Article 8(2)(a)(i) Wilful killing; Article 8(2)(a)(ii) Torture or inhuman treatment; Article 8(2)(a)(iii) Wilfully causing great suffering; Article 8(2)(a)(iv) Destruction and appropriation of property; Article 8(2)(a)(v) Compelling service in hostile forces; Article 8(2)(a)(vi) Denying a fair trial; Article 8(2)(a)(vii) Unlawful deportation or confinement; and Article 8(2)(a)(viii) Taking of hostages.

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
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Christine Byron

This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to provide a critical analysis of the definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity as construed in the Rome Statute and developed by the Elements of Crimes. It then discusses the origins of the International Criminal Court (ICC); default mental element for offences in the Rome Statute; and Article 21 of the Rome Statute, the law to be applied by the judges of the ICC when adjudicating cases and interpreting the definition of crimes. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Christine Byron

This chapter begins with a brief background to crimes against humanity. It then discusses Article 7(1) covering the origins and development Article 7(1)(a) Murder; Article 7(1)(b) Extermination; Article 7(1)(c) Enslavement; Article 7(1)(d) Deportation or forcible transfer; Article 7(1)(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty; Article 7(1)(f) Torture; Article 7(1)(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation, or sexual violence; Article 7(1)(h) Persecution; Article 7(1)(i) Enforced disappearance of persons; Article 7(1)(j) Apartheid; and Article 7(1)(k) Other inhumane acts.

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
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Christine Byron

This book has examined crimes against humanity and war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This concluding chapter commences by considering how this interpretation of crimes may be affected by national prosecutions of war crimes and crimes against humanity under the principle of complementarity. Next, it considers the influence that reservations and interpretative declarations to the Conventions which form the basis of Article 8, or interpretative declarations to the Rome Statute, have on the definition of crimes. Then, the question of whether some of the crimes are still insufficiently defined to enable a fair trial in accordance with the principle of legality is addressed. The chapter also reviews the influence of human rights law upon the definition of crimes in the Rome Statute and questions whether human rights bodies may provide an effective alternative method of ending impunity for conduct described in Articles 7 and 8 rather than prosecutions before the ICC. The Rome Statute is praised for its approach to gender issues in the definition of crimes but criticised for failure to address sufficiently the issue of prohibited weapons. Finally, the particular problems of applying international humanitarian law in non-international armed conflicts and the extent to which Article 8(2)(e) of the Rome Statute addresses these concerns are discussed.

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court