Seven Canons of ICC Treaty Interpretation: Making Sense of Article 25's Rorschach Blot
Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 27, No. 755, 2014
49 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2013 Last revised: 14 Sep 2020
Date Written: November 15, 2013
This article draws on well-established understandings of international treaty interpretation and the role of the judicial function to propose seven canons of International Criminal Court treaty construction that may serve as the basis of a principled interpretation of the Rome Statute. This interpretative framework is then applied to the seemingly intractable debate within the Court and among scholars over the correct interpretation of Article 25, on modes of liability. The seven canons provide guidelines that may enable the ‘Rorschach blot’ of Article 25, capable of so many divergent interpretations, to become uniformly and consistently understood and interpreted.
Keywords: Article 25; control theory; modes of liability; interpretation; methodology; Vienna Convention
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