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Crimes Against Humanity: The State Plan Or Policy Element

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Chapter Summary

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has taken the view that at customary law, there is no requirement whatsoever of a state or organizational policy with respect to crimes against humanity. Cherif Bassiouni disagrees. Professor Bassiouni, in arguing that ?Article 7 does not bring a new development to crimes against humanity,? is himself placing the debate within the context of customary international law. Cherif Bassiouni?s perspective on the state plan or policy element in crimes against humanity is not a popular one. In its landmark ruling on crimes against humanity of June 28, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the issue of whether there was a state plan or policy element. It noted Professor Bassiouni?s position with considerable deference but also acknowledged that the ICTY Appeals Chamber was taking the law in a different direction.

Keywords: Cherif Bassiouni; crimes against humanity; International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); international law; state plan; Supreme Court of Canada



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