Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 October 2015
The article focuses on one of the most intriguing and, at the same time, controversial issues of international criminal law: whether the state policy requirement should be considered as a constitutive element in core international crimes. Adopting a criminal policy perspective, my intention is to contribute to the ongoing discussion by offering a doctrinal and criminological corroboration of the position that answers in the affirmative. Nevertheless, I am not necessarily promoting a normative choice entailing the amendment of the definition of core international crimes, but I rather call for a policy choice of focusing on cases that presume a state policy component.
1 See Schabas, W. A., ‘Crimes Against Humanity: The State Plan or Policy Element’, in Sadat, L. N. and Scharf, M. P. (eds.), The Theory and Practice of International Criminal Law. Essays in Honour of M. Cherif Bassiouni (2008), 347–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Schabas, W. A., Genocide in International Law. The Crimes of Crimes (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 241ff., 491ff.; Schabas, W. A., ‘State Policy as an Element of International Crimes’, (2008) 98 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 953Google Scholar. Counter-argumentation for the case of crimes against humanity where the element of ‘state or organizational policy’ is explicitly stipulated: Halling, M., ‘Push the Envelope – Watch It Bend: Removing the Policy Requirement and Extending Crimes against Humanity’, (2010) 23 LJIL 827CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Werle, G. and Burghardt, B., ‘Do Crimes Against Humanity Require the Participation of a State or a “State-like” Organization?’, (2012) 10 JICJ 1151Google Scholar. For a reaction to the former article, see Schabas, W. A., ‘Prosecuting Dr Strangelove, Goldfinger, and the Joker at the ICC: Closing the Loopholes’, (2010) 23 LJIL 847Google Scholar. See also, Mettraux, G., ‘The Definition of Crimes Against Humanity and the Question of a “Policy” Element’, in Sadat, L. N. (ed.), Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity (2011), 142–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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104 Article 21(l)(a) ICCSt. obliges the Court to apply ‘in the first place, this Statute, Elements of Crimes and its Rules of Procedure and Evidence’.
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108 Ibid., para. 93. For a critical appraisal of this teleological construction of the term ‘organization’ see Kress, C., ‘On the Outer Limits of Crimes against Humanity. The Concept of Organization within the Policy Requirement. Some Reflections on the March 2010 ICC Kenya Decision’, (2010) 23 LJIL 855CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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111 Situation en République Démocratique du Congo, Affaire Le Procureur c. Germain Katanga, Jugement rendu en application de l'article 74 du Statut, ICC- 01/04-01/07, La Chambre de Première Instance II, 7 Mars 2014, paras. 1118–22.
112 Situation In The Republic Of Côte D'Ivoire, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges against Laurent Gbagbo, ICC-02/11-01/11, Pre-T. Ch. I, 12 June 2014, para. 217.
113 See also the arguments in favour of an amendment of Art. 7 ICCSt. in C. Chernor Jalloh, ‘What Makes a Crime Against Humanity a Crime Against Humanity’, (2013) 28 American University International Law Review, at 435ff.
115 C. Frances Moran, ‘Beyond the State: The Future of International Criminal Law’, International Crimes Database, September 2014. The problem with such an approach is that ‘amounts to a misstatement of the proper relationship between international human rights law and international criminal law. While it is certainly possible to say that international criminal law has come to be an instrument to protect and enforce (a limited number of fundamental) international human rights there can be no presumption in favour of a broad teleological interpretation of international criminal law as a back door for a progressive development of international human rights law. The sequence can only be the other way round: only once the obligation of an organization to respect international human rights can be clearly established under general international law can a human-rights-inspired teleological argument to include such organizations in the policy requirement of crimes against humanity become available’. Kress, supra note 108, at 860–1.
116 A. A. Cançado Trindade, International Law for Humankind. Towards a New Jus Gentium (2010), at 372.