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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, Defences

Yoram Dinstein

Subject(s):
Military matters — Armed conflict — Necessity — Duress — Superior orders — Practice and procedure of international organizations

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 All international crimes have two cumulative constituent elements: a material element ( actus reus ) and a mental element ( mens rea ). Art. 30 Statute of the International Criminal Court (‘Rome Statute’) translates the mental element, the underlying liability for punishment for an international crime, into the two component conditions of intent and knowledge. This is the general rule, but some international crimes require a more specific mental element. A pre-eminent example is the intent to destroy—in whole or in part—a national, ethnic, racial, or religious...
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