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Self-defence and state of necessity in the statute of the ICC

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Chapter Summary

When a person is prosecuted before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a crime referred to in the Statute (Art. 5-8), he/she can invoke different defences. Self-defence can be invoked in the context of interstate relationships, as well as individual ones. This chapter begins with an examination of the plea of self-defence as this is the main object of Art. 31, 1, c and moves to an analysis of the wider concept of necessity. It considers how the self-defence concept has been dealt with by the International Law Commission (ILC) and examines the extent of this objection in the Statute of the ICC. In an armed conflict, there is a presumption that an act of war is justified if it is consistent with the applicable law, such as the law of armed conflicts or international humanitarian law (IHL) considered lato sensu.

Keywords: armed conflict; International Criminal Court (ICC); international humanitarian law (IHL); International Law Commission (ILC); self-defence



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