Reductio Ad Absurdum: The Kapo Trial Judgements’ Contribution to International Criminal Law Jurisprudence and Customary International Law
16 Pages Posted: 24 May 2013
Date Written: May 18, 2013
Several Jewish persons designated as concentration camp guards (Kapos) during the Holocaust were subsequently tried in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s for allegedly committing grave crimes. This article examines these trial judgements and considers their significance to international criminal law jurisprudence and customary international law. First, this article will delineate the trial judgements’ purpose, relevance and previous contribution to customary international law. Secondly, a comparative narrative of the judgements with recent case law from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court will illuminate their potential contribution, specifically to the principles of modes of liability, criminal intent, and the defence of duress. The Kapo trial judgements may therefore continue to offer an extreme case example and a worthy source of common law for international criminal law jurisprudence and customary international law.
Keywords: Kapo trials, Israel, Reductio Ad Absurdum, International Criminal Law, Customary International Law, Duress, Intent, Mode of Liability
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