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6 Immunities, Amnesties, and Statutes of Limitation

From: International Crimes: Law and Practice: Volume I: Genocide

Guénaël Mettraux

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 May 2023

Immunities — Genocide — Amnesty — Statutory limitations — Customary international law

This chapter examines the immunities, amnesties, and statutes of limitation pertaining to international law on genocide. It first discuses immunities under customary law. A significant issue to address is whether the exclusion of immunities for genocide is limited to the two jurisdictions provided for under the Genocide Convention or whether it has broader application. The chapter also considers the customary law exclusion of immunities with respect to civil suits against states. The provisions of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are also considered. For amnesties, the chapter considers the lack of general exclusion of amnesties for all international crimes, as well as the lack of acquired rights under international law. Here, international law does not endow amnesties with legal force. Nor does it create enforceable rights for its beneficiaries that would arise from international law. Instead, international law provides for a number of basic criteria that national amnesties need to satisfy lest they be regarded as invalid from the point of view of international law. Finally, this chapter explores the statute of limitations under both the Genocide Convention and the ICC.

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