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Criminal Liability Principles Envisioned by ICTS

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Chapter Summary

It is important to note that the "general principles" form a synthesis of common and civil law systems, as well as Sharia law and other criminal law systems. This chapter examines the most important rules of substantive international criminal law (ICL) that have obtained the status of "general principles". Actus reus and mens rea are the two components that constitute international criminal liability in all legal systems. The International Criminal Tribunals (ICTS) aim is to prosecute individuals, not states or organizations. International criminal courts and tribunals have committed themselves only to bring to justice perpetrators of the most serious crimes or those who bear the "greatest responsibility" for serious violations of international humanitarian law. The mens rea of aiding and abetting consists of "knowledge that assistance aids the commission of criminal acts, along with awareness of the essential elements of these crimes".

Keywords: actus reus; aiding and abetting doctrine; international criminal law (ICL); international criminal liability; International Criminal Tribunals (ICTS); mens rea

10.1163/9789047429012_006
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