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(p. 439) 17. International criminal law 

(p. 439) 17. International criminal law
(p. 439) 17. International criminal law

Gleider Hernández

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date: 29 May 2020

This chapter describes international criminal law. International criminal law represented a fundamental shift for international law. Historically, international law regarded accountability and responsibility almost purely through the lens of the State and contained neither substantive rules nor the requisite institutions to prosecute an individual. Today, there exist several institutions, most prominently the International Criminal Court (ICC), which have given shape both to the substance of the crimes themselves and to the method for their effective prosecution. Through international criminal law, the criminal responsibility and liability of individuals, even if acting in groups, are now addressed internationally. There is a category of indisputable ‘core crimes’ under customary international law: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression. These are helpfully defined in an ICC document called the ‘Elements of Crimes’, which is intended to guide the Court in the interpretation and application of these crimes.

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