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International Criminal Law

International Criminal Law (1st edn)

Douglas Guilfoyle
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date: 29 February 2024

p. 1837. The elements of international crimeslocked

p. 1837. The elements of international crimeslocked

  • Douglas GuilfoyleDouglas GuilfoyleAssociate Professor of Law, Monash University


This chapter discusses the elements of international crimes. In general, a crime is conceived as having two components: prohibited conduct (which may be called the objective, material, or ‘real’ element of the crime or its actus reus) and a culpable mental state (which may be called the subjective, or mental element of the crime or its mens rea). In addition to material and mental elements, certain international crimes may also require a contextual element. That is, some international crimes may require that the prohibited act occurs in or has a relationship to a particular set of circumstances: for example, a war crime must be closely connected with an armed conflict. This contextual element is sometimes also called a nexus requirement.

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