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Reconceptualizing the Debate on Jus Cogens and Obligations Erga Omnes - Concluding Observations

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Chapter Summary

It was only natural to extend the doctrine of jus cogens to other legal fields. Regarding international treaties, the answer as to the specific effect of such rules was given by the Vienna Convention itself. Treaties conflicting with a rule of jus cogens are void. To come to this conclusion is a fairly easy intellectual operation, provided that one succeeds in identifying the rule of jus cogens said to apply to the controversial agreement at hand, and demonstrating its specific nature. If a clear distinction is made between primary rules protecting basic values of the international community and secondary rules governing the consequences of any breach of such rules, it also becomes easy to identify the common denominator establishing a link between such concepts as jus cogens, international crimes by States, international crimes by individuals entailing individual criminal responsibility, and obligations erga omnes.

Keywords: individual criminal responsibility; international crimes; international treaties; jus cogens; obligations erga omnes



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