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Individual Criminal Liability for Crimes against Humanity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter identifies the sources of individual criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity in international law, and assesses the mechanisms for attributing or rejecting liability whenever an act constitutive of such an offence is committed. It demonstrates that crimes against humanity are a serious international offence par excellence, the principle of individual criminal liability for its commission is entrenched in international law, and that such a principle calls for the prosecution and punishment of all offenders irrespective of their status or office. Consequently, no form of domestic limitation - be it based on office, sovereignty, immunity, amnesty or pardon - shall prevent the competent courts from hearing cases dealing with the alleged commission of this crime. Finally, the chapter concludes the bases of individual criminal liability as well as the parameters of individual criminal attribution based on crimes against humanity are clearly established in international law.

Keywords: amnesty; humanity; international law; Nuremberg Charter; sovereignty



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