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19 International Criminal Law

From: The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions in Context

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 11 December 2023

Prisoners of war — War crimes — Armed conflict — Conduct of hostilities

This chapter tackles international criminal law, which governs the criminal responsibility of individuals for the perpetration of international crimes. War crimes primarily comprise serious violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) that are executed in relation to an armed conflict and individual criminal responsibilities under international law. Moreover, crimes against humanity and genocide could be committed during armed conflict, while aggression may also be involved in the commission of war crimes. The chapter explains the key issues to determine when such acts occur, such as identifying whether an armed conflict exists under international humanitarian law. It notes how the 1977 Additional Protocol I explicitly defined and enumerated specific war crimes, while the Additional Protocol II codified prohibition that became war crimes under customary international law.

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