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9. Crimes against humanity  

This chapter discusses the definition of crimes against humanity, its underlying offences, and some of the historical and theoretical issues surrounding the offence. It first outlines the evolution of the legal definition of crimes against humanity, which occurred through the statutes of international criminal tribunals. It then deals with the ‘contextual element’ of the offence; considers the prohibited acts that may form the conduct underlying a crime against humanity, with the exception of the complex crime of persecution; and examines the crime of persecution. Finally, it re-considers the question why there should be a separate category of crimes against humanity.

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Cover Cassese's International Criminal Law

7. Torture and aggression  

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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10. Genocide  

This chapter focuses on the crime of genocide. The prohibition against genocide is now found in treaty and customary law, and is universally accepted as being an international crime ‘whether committed in time of peace or in time of war’. Genocide requires that a prohibited act is committed against a member of one of the protected groups, being a ‘national, ethnical, racial, or religious group’. The chapter first considers the definition of the protected groups. It then outlines the legal definitions of the prohibited acts; considers whether there is a ‘contextual element’ required as part of the crime of genocide; and examines the mental element of the crime of genocide and the role of the ‘special intent’ requirement.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Criminal Law

6. Genocide  

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

The term ‘genocide’ refers to the intention to destroy entire groups, whether national, racial, religious, cultural, and so on. Genocide acquired autonomous significance as a specific crime in 1948, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Genocide Convention, whose substantive rules may largely be considered as declaratory of customary international law. This chapter analyzes the main features of the Genocide Convention and examines the legal ingredients of the crime of genocide, as also clarified in international and national case law. It discusses developments in the case law on genocide; objective and subjective elements of genocide; protected groups; two problematic aspects of genocide; genocide and crimes against humanity; and Article 6 of the International Criminal Court Statute and customary international law.

Book

Cover Cassese's International Criminal Law

Antonio Cassese and Paola Gaeta

This third edition of Cassese’s International Criminal Law provides an account of the main substantive and procedural aspects of international criminal law. Adopting a combination of the classic common law and more theoretical approaches to the subject, it discusses: the historical evolution of international criminal law; the legal definition of the so-called core crimes (war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide) plus aggression, torture and terrorism; the forms and modes of criminal responsibility; and the main issues related to the prosecution and punishment of international crimes at the national and international level, including amnesties, statutes of limitations and immunities. The book guides the reader through a vast array of cases and materials from a number of jurisdictions, providing analysis that brings the political and human contexts to the fore. The International Criminal Court and all the other modern international criminal courts are fully covered, both as regards their structure, functioning and proceedings, and as far as their case law is concerned.