Remarks on the General Part of International Criminal Law
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Date Written: September 2006
After decades of little reflection on the General Part of International Criminal Law ('ICL'), the practice of the Ad Hoc Tribunals and Part III of the ICC Statute both offer a unique opportunity and create a necessity to give more thought to the rules of attribution for international crimes. Indeed, the aim of further research must be to develop a more refined system of attribution. This is especially important in ICL, since it is primarily concerned with high level perpetrators who rarely commit the crimes themselves but use mid- or low-level perpetrators to execute their criminal plans. While ICL 'in action' is recognized today as primarily criminal law, the rules of attribution are still underdeveloped. Some rules developed by the case law even violate, when applied in their extreme form, fundamental principles of criminal law. Identifying and applying these principles, specifically the principles of legality and culpability, will be the first step in constructing a more legitimate system of attribution.
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