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International Criminal Law Defenses Originating From Comparative Criminal Law

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Chapter Summary

In substance, all domestic laws in both civil and common law systems governing the law of crimes provide for an exclusion of criminal responsibility of individuals in the event of self-defense. This chapter examines two defenses that are in fact special exponents of the defenses of duress and self-defense, namely the defenses of "necessity" and "prevention of crime". The defense of consent to sexual assault is related to the defense of mistake of fact. A category of defenses in international criminal law (ICL) based upon comparative criminal law is strongly related to the interdisciplinary nature of criminal law. The chapter analyzes the three special defenses - mental diseases or disorders, neurobiological or genetic defenses and toxicological exceptions - and the judicial role they can play before international criminal tribunals. It also examines whether these defenses are reconcilable with the nature of the principles of public international law.

Keywords: comparative criminal law; defense of duress; defense of necessity; genetic defenses; interdisciplinary defenses; international criminal law (ICL); mistake of fact; prevention of crime; self-defense; sexual assault



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