Volume I, s.4 General Principles of International Criminal Law, 24 Defences, Ch.24.1 Justifications and Excuses in International Criminal Law
Edited By: Professor Antonio Cassese, Professor Paola Gaeta, Mr John R.W.D. Jones
It is widely accepted in most national criminal systems, particularly in civil law countries, that a distinction is necessary between two categories of defences: justifications and excuses. The same distinction can be held to apply, if only for the sake of legal logic, in international criminal law. According to the widespread view of criminal lawyers, when the law provides for a justification, an action that would per se be considered contrary to law, it is regarded instead as lawful and thus does not amount to a crime. 1 This is because society, and the legal...