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.
9. Perpetration: in particular joint and indirect perpetration
Antonio Cassese, Paola Gaeta, Laurel Baig, Mary Fan, Christopher Gosnell, and Alex Whiting
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.