International ‘Criminal’ Responsibility : Antinomies book cover
1st Edition

International ‘Criminal’ Responsibility

ISBN 9781138098916
Published February 21, 2019 by Routledge
296 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

In the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, major offences committed by individuals have been subject to progressive systematisation in the framework of international criminal law. Proposals developed within the context of the League of Nations coordinated individual liability and State responsibility. By contrast, international law as codified after World War II in the framework of the United Nations embodies a neat divide between individual criminal liability and State aggravated responsibility. However, conduct of State organs and agents generates dual liability. Through a critical analysis of key international rules, the book assesses whether the divisive approach to individual and State responsibility is normatively consistent. Contemporary situations, such as the humanitarian crises in Syria and Libya, 9/11 and the Iraq wars demonstrate that the matter still gives rise to controversy: a set of systemic problems emerge. The research focuses on the substantive elements of major offences, notably agression, genocide, core war crimes, core crimes against humanity and terrorism, as well as relevant procedural implications.

The book is a useful resource for practitioners, policymakers, academics, students, researchers and anyone interested in international law and politics.

Table of Contents








Chapter 1 – From monism to dualism

1.1  Monism: coordinating individual and State responsibility prior to World War II

1.1.1  The dawn of criminal responsibility in international law: proposals for a universal criminal code (1860-1919)

1.1.2.  Inter-war coordination (1920-1939)  Triggering initiatives within the League of Nations  Establishing the Fundamental Principles of an International Legal Code for the Repression of International Crimes  Individual initiatives for a comprehensive International Criminal Code  The ICLA’s Draft Statute for a Criminal Chamber of the PCIJ and the Global Repressive Code

1.2  Dualism: disjoining individual and State responsibility after World War II

1.2.1  Between coordination and disjunction (1940-1960)  Peace through law? UN procedures and the critical role of the Security Council  The IMT, IMTFE, Nuremberg Principles and Draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind  The Genocide Convention and the proposals for an international criminal jurisdiction

1.2.2  Defining aggression, State crimes and underlying concepts (1960-1980)  Non-institutional initiatives  Peremptory norms (jus cogens), erga omnes obligations and State crimes  State crimes under Article 19 of the ILC’s 1980 Draft Articles on State Responsibility

1.2.3  Codifying dualism (1980-2001)  The ICLA’s Project for a comprehensive International Criminal Code  Achieving the Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind  Ad hoc international and hybrid tribunals  Achieving the Statute of the International Criminal Court  From ‘State crimes’ to ‘serious breaches of peremptory norms’ in the ILC’s Draft Articles on State Responsibility

1.2.4  Genocide, aggression and terrorism still in search of identity (2001-2018)  Genocide in the jurisprudence of the ICJ: the ‘second death’ of State crimes?  Aggression and terrorism: developments in the ICC Statute and beyond

Chapter 2 – Breach of a primary norm: offence

2.1  Core substantive elements of the offence

2.1.1  The obligations breached by State aggravated offences  Serious breaches of peremptory norms (jus cogens): 2001 DASR 40  Linking jus cogens and erga omnes obligations: VCLT and VCLTIO Article 53 and 2001 DASR 40, 42, 48 and 54  Serious breaches of erga omnes obligations: 1996 DASR 19 and 40  Fundamental obligations  Jus cogens, erga omnes obligations and State responsibility in international case law

2.1.2  Individual criminal responsibility, jus cogens and erga omnes obligations  From criminals to crimes: erga omnes responsibility in the ICC Statute  Erga omnes responsibility in the case law

2.1.3  State aggravated responsibility, individual criminal responsibility, jus cogens and (non-severable) erga omnes obligations  (Non-severable) erga omnes obligations as jus cogens  State aggravated offences and individual criminal offences as breaches of (non-severable) erga omnes obligations

2.2 Attribution of responsibility

2.2.1  Dual conduct  Attributing aggravated responsibility to the State based on conduct of its organs or agents: absolute identity?  Individual responsibility for international crimes: mens rea

2.2.2  Attributing individual criminal conduct to the State  Individual mens rea versus State objective responsibility?  Individual and State mens rea?  Assessing State fault on a case-by-case basis under the ILC’s DASR

2.3  Dual erga omnes offences

2.3.1  Aggression  State conduct as a basis for individual conduct (and vice-versa)  Leadership and mens rea  Self-Defence as a dual excuse

2.3.2  Core war crimes  Individual conduct as a basis for collective responsibility  Systemically proving individual mens rea

2.3.3  Core crimes against humanity  Systemic conduct  Systemically proving individual mens rea

2.3.4  Genocide  Individual genocidal conduct without State responsibility?  Collective specific intent as a basis for individual intent (and vice-versa)

2.3.5  Terrorism  Political or ideological purpose as a distinguishing material element  Specific intent and collective responsibility

Chapter 3 – Secondary norms: dispute settlement, sanctions and enforcement

3.1  Secondary and tertiary implications of dual erga omnes offences

3.1.1  State aggravated responsibility  Institutionalised and non-institutionalised (compulsory) universal invocation of responsibility: 2001 DASR 41(1), 42(b), 48(1)(b) and 59  Non-punitive erga omnes sanctions? 2001 DASR 28-39 and UN Charter Articles 39-42  Institutionalised and non-institutionalised universal enforcement: 2001 DASR 41(1), 54 and 59  Rejecting compulsory jurisdiction  Punitive erga omnes sanctions? 1996 DASR 41-46 and 52  Universal punitive enforcement? 1996 DASR 53

3.1.2  Individual criminal responsibility  (Compulsory) universal jurisdiction and complementary international adjudication  (Erga omnes) imprisonment, fines and forfeiture  Domestic enforcement

3.2  Procedural intersections

3.2.1  Systemic patterns and inter-temporality

3.2.2  The limits of UN procedures  Chapter VII procedures: political and enforcement action for State aggravated responsibility?  The limited role of consensual jurisdiction, particularly the International Court of Justice

3.2.2  Decentralised State action under general international law

3.2.3  A controversial practice  Bosnian genocide  Humanitarian crises in Kosovo, Libya and Syria  Iraq wars  Counter-terrorism in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq

3.2.4  State and individual immunities as a bar to domestic jurisdiction?  State and individual immunities?  Intersections

3.2.5  Ad hoc criminal jurisdictions: victors’ justice?  Power and organic dependence  Ex post jurisdictions

3.2.6  The independence of the International Criminal Court  Permanency as a guarantee of independence?  The UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court  Jurisdictional autonomy over aggression?



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Ottavio Quirico is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of New England in Australia, an Honorary Lecturer at the Centre for European Studies of the Australian National University and an Alumnus of the European University Institute.