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When the Child Surpasses the Father – Admissible Defences in International Criminal Law

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Due to the heinous nature of international crimes, admissible defences in the context of international criminal justice understandably constitute an issue surrounded with controversy. Yet, while International Criminal Law precludes the use of a series of defences, it also admits that certain grounds may exclude individual criminal responsibility or mitigate punishment even in the case of the most serious international crimes. The present study thus proposes to analyse the permissibility of these defences and the availability of such grounds for excluding responsibility by drawing a comparison between Public International Law and International Criminal Law and by highlighting the differences and discrepancies between the two systems. Ultimately, this analysis aims at demonstrating that International Criminal Law, one of Public International Law's children, has now surpassed its parent to become a more sophisticated and a fairer legal and judicial system, for both the defendants and the victims.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter


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