Crimes Against Peace: Definition and Bases of Responsibility

Ian Brownlie

in International Law and the Use of Force by States

Published in print March 1963 | ISBN: 9780198251583
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681332 | DOI:
Crimes Against Peace: Definition and Bases of Responsibility

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This chapter describes the principles applied by the various tribunals involved in imposing responsibility for crimes against peace: reference is made to the discussions of the International Law Commission and the Sixth (Legal) Committee of the General Assembly, and to the question whether the ambit of criminal responsibility in this field can be equated with the category of unlawful resort to force in general. In several cases, the Tribunal regarded taking part in the formulation and execution of occupation policies in territories occupied as a result of aggressive war as an element of guilt. The initiation of war is explained. It is shown that those people who were not in a position to affect the making of policy were not convicted of crimes against the peace. Data may suggest that the law of criminal responsibility and the law of delict have not coalesced. The International Military Tribunals focused on the use of force as an instrument of selfishness, for the extension of territory or of domination, and it would seem to follow that interventions of the type referred to do not at present create criminal responsibility.

Keywords: crimes against peace; law of delict; International Military Tribunals; aggressive war; guilt; criminal responsibility

Chapter.  9279 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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