Journal Article

Genocide <i>v</i>. War Crimes in the <i>Van Anraat</i> Appeal

Harmen van der Wilt

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 6, issue 3, pages 557-567
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI:
Genocide v. War Crimes in the Van Anraat Appeal

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Although in this case the Court of Appeal of the Netherlands and the District Court of The Hague in general reached similar conclusions, the grounds given by the Court of Appeal for Van Anraat's acquittal for complicity in genocide differed significantly from the approach taken by the District Court. The Court of Appeal concluded that the appellant was guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes: the evidence at trial demonstrated that Van Anraat knew that the chemical weapons for which he provided the basic materials could and indeed would be used against Iraq's enemies. The Court of Appeal sentenced Van Anraat to a term of imprisonment of 17 years, thus increasing by two years the sentence imposed by the District Court. In explaining the severity of the sentence, the Court of Appeal referred to the seriousness of the offences, the considerable contribution made by the defendant and his lack of remorse or compassion for the victims. The author discusses various theories of punishment, in particular those hinging on retribution and deterrence, and asks whether they adequately respond to international criminality.

Journal Article.  4896 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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