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Violations of common Article 3 of the Geneva conventions

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Chapter Summary

Article 8(2)(c) of the Statute asserts jurisdiction over violations of common Article 3 committed during internal armed conflict. In doing so, it reproduces almost exactly the prohibitions contained in (a)-(d) of common Article 3, paragraph (1). Violence to life and person is an integral part of armed conflict. Numerous such acts are therefore entirely lawful. Jurisdiction over cruel treatment as a violation of common Article 3, however, is not replicated anywhere else in Article 8 of the ICC Statute. The particular relationship between outrages upon personal dignity involving humiliating or degrading treatment and other cruel treatment or torture as covered by Article 8(2)(c)(i) may not always be an easy one for the Court to deal with. Geneva Conventions III and IV impose a number of requirements that must be met before the death penalty can be pronounced and executed on prisoners of war or civilians.

Keywords: armed conflict; Article 8(2)(c); common Article 3; cruel treatment; degrading treatment; Geneva Conventions; ICC Statute; violations



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