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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: 23 June 2024

9. Perpetration: in particular joint and indirect perpetrationlocked

9. Perpetration: in particular joint and indirect perpetrationlocked

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


This chapter discusses the two major theories that are currently in use in international criminal law to address group criminality: joint criminal enterprise; and co-perpetration by control over the crime. Under these theories, each participant will be treated as a principal, provided that he played a sufficiently important role in the commission of the crime. Gradations of culpability may be taken into account at the sentencing stage. In addition, although joint criminal enterprise focuses on shared intention and co-perpetration focuses on shared action, the application of either theory will yield the same result in most cases. Indirect perpetration is then analyzed.

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