International Crime: in Context and in Contrast

Adil Ahmad Haque

in The Structures of the Criminal Law

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199644315
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732249 | DOI:

Series: Criminalization

International Crime: in Context and in Contrast

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This chapter focuses on the structure of international crimes, which differs from the structure of national crimes in two important respects. First, international crimes typically include — in addition to their conduct, result, and attendant circumstance elements — a contextual element that national crimes rarely contain. The first task of this chapter is to explain how this unfamiliar structure relates the values at stake in international crimes to one another. More specifically, it seeks to determine whether the contextual element of each international crime contributes to the moral wrongfulness of the offense or to the justification for subjecting the offense to the jurisdiction of international criminal tribunals. In addition, to the extent that international crimes and national crimes display parallel structures, the parallel structures they display organize similar values in dissimilar ways. International crimes such as causing excessive civilian death include justificatory concepts in the definition of the offense; national crimes typically exclude such concepts, which instead appear in the definition of affirmative defences. The second task of the chapter is to determine whether these international crimes place the relevant values in their proper orientation toward one another, or whether they should be restructured along the lines of national criminal law. In particular, it must be determined whether these international crimes reflect a viable alternative structure according to which crimes are constituted by or related to either an attack or an endangerment.

Keywords: international crimes; national crimes; affirmative defences; criminal law

Chapter.  12387 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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