- Immunity from jurisdiction — Mens rea — International criminal law, conduct of proceedings — Evidence
This chapter comments on Article 31 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Article 31 describes what is known in most criminal justice systems by the terms ‘defences’, ‘excuses’, and ‘justifications’ for excluding criminal responsibility. It addresses several defences: insanity, intoxication, self-defence, duress, and necessity. It is followed by two other provisions, articles 32 and 33, defining specific defences. It is not apparent why articles 32 and 33 were not consolidated into the general provision, article 31. To the extent that they refute a charge, age (article 26), immunity (article 27), statutory limitation (article 29), and lack of mens rea (article 30) also operate as defences.
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