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Cassese's International Criminal Law

Cassese's International Criminal Law (3rd edn)

Antonio Cassese and Paola Gaeta
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date: 04 December 2023

7. Torture and aggressionlocked

7. Torture and aggressionlocked

  • Antonio Cassese,
  • Paola Gaeta,
  • Laurel Baig,
  • Mary Fan,
  • Christopher Gosnell
  •  and Alex Whiting


This chapter discusses two classes of international crimes — torture and aggression — that have repeatedly drawn international attention and condemnation but have not been adjudicated as stand-alone crimes. It begins by considering the different reasons for the treatment — in practice, if not always in theory — of these two crimes as outside the ‘core crimes’ involving the most heinous offences: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. This is followed by discussions of torture as a discrete crime; torture as a war crime and a crime against humanity; the emergence of the notion of the crime of aggression and its falling into lethargy; the elements of the crime of aggression; the need to disentangle criminal liability of individuals from state responsibility; and whether conspiracy to wage aggression is criminalized.

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