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

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

Christine Byron
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt155jfsk
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  • Book Info
    War crimes and crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
    Book Description:

    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 to the underlying treaties which 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. This will be relevant to postgraduates, academics and professionals with an interest in the International Criminal Court and the normative basis for the crimes over which the Court may take jurisdiction.

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-275-4
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. General introduction
    (pp. xi-xi)
    Dominic McGoldrick

    The international Criminal Court was the first international institution established in the twenty-first century. It embodied the hope that the new century will not be marked by the culture of impunity that characterised the last one. In the nature of criminal courts their substantive jurisdiction has to be very precise. Publication of this book coincides with the appearance of the first defendants before the new court. It provides 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 will be an invaluable aid...

  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xii-xii)
  5. List of abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)

    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.

    The origins of the ICC are mainly rooted in the events of the twentieth century. Whilst attempts to create an international tribunal prior to the Second World War failed dismally,¹ the horrific atrocities committed in...

  7. 2 War crimes (I): grave breaches
    (pp. 12-59)

    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 Axis citizens in the International Tribunals of Nuremberg and Tokyo, and the prosecution of countless more accused in...

  8. 3 War crimes (II): other offences in international armed conflicts
    (pp. 60-169)

    Thechapeauexplains that the offences under Article 8(2)(b) must be committed in an international armed conflict,¹ but the meaning of ‘serious violations’ is unclear. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Trial Chamber in the case ofČelebicistated that, in order to be considered as a serious violation of international humanitarian law, an offence must ‘be one which constitutes a breach of a rule protecting important values’ and ‘also be one which involves grave consequences for the victim’.¹ Fenrick suggests that ‘[a]ll of the acts listed in article 8 para. 2 (b) may be regarded as...

  9. 4 War crimes (III): non-international armed conflicts
    (pp. 170-187)

    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 taking part in the hostilities, and this was developed in 1977 by Additional Protocol II (AP II).² From this limited start there has been an enormous expansion of the law applicable in...

  10. 5 Crimes against humanity
    (pp. 188-245)

    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 remained undefined.²

    The First World War led to the concept of crimes against humanity being invoked again, first in a 1915...

  11. 6 Conclusion
    (pp. 246-265)

    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 have on the definition of crimes. Then, the question of whether some of the crimes are still insufficiently defined to enable...

  12. Select bibliography
    (pp. 266-271)
  13. Table of cases
    (pp. 272-279)
  14. Table of international instruments
    (pp. 280-282)
  15. Table of national instruments
    (pp. 283-283)
  16. Index
    (pp. 284-288)