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Grave breaches

Background to war crimes 1 While the origins of the laws of war stretch back centuries, 2 the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were the first to see multilateral conventions on the law of armed conflict, 3 and the twentieth century was the first to see significant prosecutions for breaches of this law. 4 Following the prosecution of a small number of Germans after the First World War by the Supreme Court of the Reich in Leipzig, 5 the aftermath of the Second World War saw the prosecution by the Allies of

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

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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Non-international armed conflicts

Background to non-international armed conflicts The extent of jurisdiction over war crimes committed in non-international armed conflicts in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was a controversial issue at the Diplomatic Conference in Rome. 1 International humanitarian law relating to internal conflicts is less well developed than that relating to international armed conflicts, although in 1949 Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions established basic rules with respect to those persons not

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
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Other offences in international armed conflicts

killing or wounding combatants who have surrendered or have no means of defence. The term ‘surrendered at discretion’ was explained by the British Manual of Military Law as meaning that the combatant must surrender unconditionally before obtaining the protection of this Article. 245 Violations of this prohibition were punished in war crimes trials after the Second World War. 246 In the Peleus Trial, where the commander of a German submarine ordered the killing of survivors of a sunken vessel, the Judge Advocate stated that it was a ‘fundamental usage of war that

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

Historical background War crimes are violations of the and customs of the law of armed conflict and are punishable whether committed by combatants or civilians, including the nationals of neutral states. 2 Occasionally the term has been used to include acts like espionage 3 or war treason 4

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Legality and legitimacy

War crimes trials before international tribunals 6 War crimes trials before international tribunals: legality and legitimacy Dominic McGoldrick I Introduction An assessment of the historical place of any trials requires both a micro and a macro analysis. The microanalysis focuses on the internal processes and procedures of the trials. The macroanalysis focuses on the broader political and historical context. Both levels of analysis can review issues of legality and legitimacy.1 This essay presents a comparative critique of war crimes trials before the

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000
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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, consideration is given to the influence that reservations and interpretative declarations to the Conventions which form the basis of Article 8, or interpretative declarations to the Rome Statute, will

in War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
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As the first defendants appear before the International Criminal Court it is now more important than ever to gain a proper understanding of the crimes with which they have been charged. The purpose of this study 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. Background to the ICC The origins of the ICC are mainly rooted in the events of the twentieth century. Whilst

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

Background to crimes against humanity The origins of crimes against humanity are less clear than those of war crimes, but the concept was first invoked in the early nineteenth century in order to condemn brutal treatment by a State of its own citizens. 1 The concept of crimes against humanity was also referred to in the preambular paragraphs of the 1868 St Petersburg Declaration and the 1907 Hague Convention, which alluded to limits imposed by the ‘laws of humanity’ during armed conflicts, but the notion

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

It has been accepted since antiquity that some restraint should be observed during armed conflict. This book examines the apparent dichotomy and introduces any study of the law of armed conflict by considering the nature and legality of war. The purpose of what is known as the law of armed conflict or, more commonly, the law of war is to reduce the horrors inherent therein to the greatest extent possible, bearing in mind the political purpose for which the war is fought, namely to achieve one's policies over one's enemies. The discussion on the history and sources of the law of armed conflict pays most attention to warfare on land because that is the region for which most agreements have been drawn up, although attention has been accorded to both aerial and naval warfare where it has been considered necessary. Traditionally, international law was divided into the law of war and the law of peace, with no intermediate stage between. Although diplomatic relations between belligerents are normally severed once a conflict has commenced, there remain a number of issues, not all of which are concerned with their inter-belligerent relations, which require them to remain in contact. War crimes are violations of the and customs of the law of armed conflict and are punishable whether committed by combatants or civilians, including the nationals of neutral states. The book also talks about the rights and duties of the Occupying Power, civil defence, branches of international law and prisoners of war.