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War Crime In International Criminal Law

The term "war crimes" refers to a subset of serious violations of international humanitarian law that lead to individual criminal responsibility. It covers a wide range of different acts, including rape and torture that would, if committed in peacetime or in situations of violence falling short of armed conflict, constitute crimes punishable under national laws. Various international treaties and conventions define war crimes in order to provide legal foundation for their sanctions as follows:
  • The Rome Statute contains a list of war crimes in international and non-international armed conflict. Despite the fact that not all states have ratified the Rome Statute, the war crimes listed within are generally considered to represent the customary international understanding of the term.

Key Principles Of Laws Of War:

  • Principle of Distinction
  • Principle of Proportionality
  • Principle of Humanity
  • Principle of Honour
Prosecution Under War Crime The most effective prosecution route lies with domestic courts (e.g. prosecution of Syrian war criminals in Germany and The Netherlands) as every state has legislation to prosecute war crimes, although not many states will prosecute war crimes committed outside their territory (i.e., exercising "universal jurisdiction"). International Criminal Court prosecutes war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity in certain circumstances only. It gives preference to domestic prosecution of international crimes, and will only step in if a state is unable or unwilling to genuinely carry out proceedings against alleged perpetrators.

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