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Individual Criminal Responsibility Under International Criminal Law

Before we talk any about above mentioned topic let's first talk about minor aspects and concepts which have made this topic such a major issue. Individual criminal responsibility doesn't mean that it is only a responsibility of an individual rather it is something which a society or publics stereotypes who things this way.

In today's era, where societies are kept on number 1 position on priority list, that they easily converts ones mindset about a particular issue like for an example girls walking shoulder by shoulder with men which is a good thing, but as per the so called society they are misbehaving or trying to be over smart or even sometime trying to be bitchy that's what our first priority people thinks. So, the same can be applied in this condition as well where being individually responsible is important.

And individual criminal responsibility plays a very important role in today's generation because it is something which shapes and builds the mind of tomorrow's future i.e. young generation. It is so because whatever the young generation will experience through there visual capacity that's what makes them as a person from inside, that's what it makes so important. As per the international criminal law or court, section 25 of ICC defines the criminal responsibility of an individual.

Individual In The Eyes Of Law

Before we move to the legality of this topic let's first try to understand why does this term is being used under this topic. So the answer would be simple because we are trying to talk about individual responsibility but NO its not about only individual rather it is about all those people who things they are the part of a mess where no one look up to but it is completely wrong because being in a committee of thousand number of people or being in a small five to ten number of people's group doesn't make YOU a group still you are an individual. So, the point the being, being an individual we have certain responsibility to pay back to the nature.

And according to law, there is nothing like INDIVIDUAL the only word which explains the commission of an act is by a PERSON or by a men or women. To be more precise, the word person includes any association or company or body of person, whether incorporated or not. And if we talk about man and woman than, the word “man” denotes a male human being of any age, and the word “woman” denotes a females human being of any age. Sometimes, a human person is called a natural person and a non human person is called as juridical person. Therefore, individual can be anyone living or a non living property. Now, we know who the individual is! But do we know what a crime is?

What Is Crime?

According to lay men's language crime could be anything which is not permitted by law, which is right up to an extent but according to law, crime is an action or omission which constitutes an offence and are backed by sanction (punishment). In any of the Indian criminal law, crime has not been described as a particular section.

According to the international criminal law, crime such as genocide, war, crime against humanitarians and aggression comes under the definition of crime. By giving both Indian and international definition of crime thing have become a bit more clear. The hemisphere of crime is quite big this simple definition wouldn't be enough to understand t he concept of crime. Crime can be any unlawful or illegal or unauthorized act or omission which is being done be any person, that commission of that person would be known as crime.

Crime is of 5 kinds:
  1. Violent Crime
  2. Property Crime
  3. White color Crime
  4. Organized Crime
  5. Consensual Crime.
Violent crime comprises crime related to murder, rape, robbery, assault etc. Property crimes are the offences related to property. White color crimes are frauds, violation of trust or breach of trust. Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for profit. Consensual crimes are crime in which one or more participants give consent to perform an unlawful act. If we are talking about crime than, the person who is committing the crime would be known as?

Who Is Criminal?

Before we go through this word lets first understand the difference between criminal and suspect. Suspect is a person who is under the suspicion and who is being investigated by the law enforcement officer and it is not necessary that all suspects are the criminals and all criminals were suspects.

For example the current SSR suicide case, it has not been proven that Rhea is a criminal but this is confirm that she is a suspect until it is proven that is a criminal she would be an suspect as per today. And if we talk about the definition of criminal as per the lay men's would be, criminal is a person who have committed the crime which is definitely correct but this can also be defined as being or guilty of an act which is unlawful in nature are what make a person criminal. But due to the lack of awareness and stereotypes of mindset everyone has started using both the words as per there ease, which is completely wrong. And it has been said that once a criminal always a criminal but this why we are here to change about the mentality of people those who thing the same.

Indian Criminal Law

Indian criminal law is both codified and consolidated laws. Indian criminal law itself has no law rather it have three major acts which have been passed in different-different years which together makes the criminal law and they are:
  • Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • Indian Evidence act, 1872
All these three laws are interrelated to each other and the application is not possible if taken apart. If we talk about IPC, 1860 it is a codified laws which have different sections describing the offences or act which are unlawful and punishable by the law. To be more precise IPC deals with only crimes not with tort and the crimes.

And the whole IPC is completely divided into few segments such as offences related to human body, offences related to state, offences related to religion, and punishments etc and if we talk about the individual responsibility over criminal law than the offences which will come under this would be attempt to suicide section 306, committing rape section 375 and so on all these offences affects the public at large that is the reason why these offences plays very important role in our society.

Coming to CrPC, 1973, it is the a codified law which tells about the application of the section over the defendant and talks about how they will be applied. In simple words CrPC is law which is there for just an application over the offences committed and the IEA, 1872, tells about the evidences, means how or which things will be taken into the evidence and which will not.

Like for an example earlier the voice and video recording were not acceptable in the court of law but after the amendment these voice recording and video recording were taken as evidence under the court of law. Laws are something which are progressive in nature means they grow as per the demand of the public and they grow as per the ages.

International Criminal Law

By its very name it deals with intersection between concept of criminal law largely drawn from national legal system and international law. International criminal law is a body of public international law designed to prohibit certain categories of conduct commonly viewed as serious atrocities and to make perpetrators of such conduct criminally accountable for their perpetration. International criminal Law generally deals with the crimes which are related to the offences to war crime, genocide, crime against humanity and crime of aggression. International crime deals with the crime internationally.

The base of international criminal law is as same as we have in Indian criminal law i.e. mens rea and actus Reus, which means mental condition or intention of doing an act and the physically work done respectively. International criminal law has complexities that drive from international law itself in that international criminal law in addition has a relationship with ideas such as human rights law and the law of armed conflict, which is obviously two different bodies of law so the question that international criminal law has to deal with is how to reconcile those different bodies of law and indeed how in a criminal law context do you apply rules that were perhaps originally designed.

Being comparative Indian criminal law has putted his legs way back from these kind of interest. And it is something which needs so because there is a lot which Indian criminal law says apart from genocide, war or crime against humanity and aggression. It was needed by International criminal court (ICC) to be done, because the locals laws of particular countries can't govern neither can regulated the offences which have been committed outside of their territory.

When it comes to war no country would blame themselves even though they had started the conflicts with other nation which eventually turned out to be a war so better there is a body which is there to regulate and govern over these matters and the thing goes with rest of the crime be it genocide or crime against humanity or crime against aggression.

As we have enough knowledge to get into deep of the topic ‘Individual criminal responsibility under international criminal law':-

Individual Criminal Responsibility

As per the Rome Statue of Individual criminal responsibility, under section 25 of ICC, it talks about the individual criminal responsibility and the section says:
  1. The Court shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to this Statute.
  2. A person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be individually responsible and liable for punishment in accordance with this Statute.
  3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person:
    1. Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible;
    2. Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact occurs or is attempted;
    3. For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;
    4. In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:
      1. Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or
      2. Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime;
    5. In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide;
    6. Attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commence its execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur because of circumstances independent of the person's intentions. However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.

      In respect of the crime of aggression, the provisions of this article shall apply only to persons in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State.
  4. No provision in this Statute relating to individual criminal responsibility shall affect the responsibility of States under international law.
International criminal law allows for individuals to be held criminally responsible not only for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but also for attempting, assisting in, facilitating or aiding and abetting the commission of such crimes. Individuals may also be held criminally responsible for planning and even instigating the commission of such crimes.

According to the above mentioned section, we can simple understand that the court have the jurisdiction or authorized power over every men as per the accordance to this statue and a person shall be punished as per the crime. This law also talks about committing the crime within the jurisdiction of the court and he or she will be liable for the punishment.

The person who is committing the crime is not necessary that he must be doing something, but aiding or abetting for doing an act or giving or supplying any object or weapons will be liable and would be given same punishment as it would be given to the persons who have committed the crime.

And it has been stated that if any group or organization work for a single aim i.e., criminal or any illegal commission then the every person involving in that group or organization will be liable for the act is being done. It also talks about the crime related to genocide or genocide himself. Genocide means killing large number of people especially for following any religion or ethics or of particular nation. It has been seen that individual are held responsible for planning and preparation for the commission of the crime.

  1. A, is an African men living in U.S. from last 5 years and doing a freelancing job, once he got up a mail from Z stating from joining a group which is being controlled from Africa. So he signed the agreement and became a part of that group without even researching about that. After 3 months from the date of joining of A, U.S. faces a plan hijacked by Africans, and when U.S. did the investigation, it was found that Z was the commander in chief and later on A was also made liable for committing that crime as per the international criminal court.
  2. Cina is a country that is not having good relations with few more countries like Indaa, Germay, and Jpaan from last few months due to this Cina's government is facing economic, food crises. Due to this Cina Army Force (CAF) announces war against Germay, and the result came out that Cina lost the war and then filled the suit of waging war against Germay. So the verdict came out that Cina was himself responsible for the commission of waging war because Cina was one who announces the war.
  3. Publa, one of the developed nation on the globe have population of 2.1 million among which only 64% are of Publa nation others are migrants which have got the citizenship of Publa as per their citizenship act. Publa is not a secular country, they follows only Puba religion. In the year, 1986 a large number of people migrated to Publa just because of industrialization, maxim of which were not a follower of Puba religion. In the year 1996, when new king came to rule, announces that, all the non-Puba people have to leave the country in the next 7 days. When this new came in front then people started hiding themselves their families everything.

    But the end of 1996 it was found that a large number of non-pubas are in danger and many where killed also. Because there was no international court of justice, the then king of Publa was doing all of these in human taxes very easily. But if the same would have happened after the establishment of international court of justice i.e., 2002 the then king of Publa must have gotten the punishments and was meant liable. And the people who were struggling there would have got the justice.
  4. Philips, a citizen of Rem currently lives in South Acro for his business from last few years. In his office there is a girl Machle who is a citizen of Brln. Shi is also living in South Acro from last few years. Recently they got up into relationship and they started living together and after few months they got separated due to some reason. And after this Philips raped his ex girlfriend Brln when she was coming from the office in the public car. She immediately filled the case against him, but due to the corruption the verdict came in the favor of Philips. So, if Machle wants to fill a case against him in the international court of justice than she can fill. Because committing rape or sexual harassment or sexual violence comes under crime against humanity.

    Therefore above mentioned all the illustration must have made the concept towards the international court of justice rather international criminal court. International criminal court was established in the year 202 in Rome, Italy and from that to till date it has been working efficiently. They all were only the illustration but the real and static case laws are mentioned below.

Case Laws
  1. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi v/s situation in Libya

    Saif al-islam publicly turned down his father's (Muammar Gaddafi) offer of the country's second highest post and held no official government position. According to American State Department officials in Tripoli, during his father's reign, he was the second most widely recognized person in Libya, being at times the "de facto" Prime Minister, and was mentioned as a possible successor, though he rejected this. An arrest warrant was issued for him on 27 June 2011 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for charges of crimes against humanity against the Libyan people, for killing and persecuting civilians, under Articles 7(1)(a) and 7(1)(h) of the Rome statute. He denied the charges. He was sentenced to death on 28 July 2015 by a court in Tripoli for crimes during the civil war, in a widely criticized trial conducted in absentia. As of December 2019, Gaddafi remained wanted under his ICC arrest warrant for crimes against humanity. And at the end Gaddafi was released from prison back to Libya.
  2. Thomas Lubanga Dyllo v/s situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Thomas Lubanga Dyllo (born 29 December 1960) is a convicted war criminal from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the first person ever convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He founded and led the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and was a key player in the Ituri conflict (1999–2007). Rebels under his command have been accused of massive human rights violations, including ethnic massacres, murder, torture, rape, mutilation, and forcibly conscripting child soldiers. In the year 2006, Dyllo was convicted for crime against humanity, rape, murder etc and was given the given the 14 years of imprisonment, which got completed on 15th march 2020. And he has been released from prison to live his rest of the life peacefully and with on violence.
  3. The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

    Germain Katanga is a former leader of Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri (PRFI). The charges under he was prosecuted and finally was convicted was murder, crime against humanity, crime against civilian, willful killing. He says in his statement while was under proceeding that whatever he has done was done by a good intention and for the betterment of the future generation. On 23 May 2014, Katanga was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment. The time he spent in detention at the ICC – between 2007 and 2014 – was deducted from the sentence. On 19 December 2015, Katanga was transferred to a prison in the DRC, where he is scheduled to serve the balance of his sentence. Therefore, he was convicted for his offences under section 25 sub clause c, section 7 and many.
  4. Kulbhusan Jadhav case

    This case is one of the most important and current case law as per the international court of justice. Kulbhusan Jadhav is a retired army office of Indian Navy force (INF). There was no any violation of laws as per the international court of justice rather it was a international issue between Indian and Pakistan. So eventually this case went to international court. And as per the Pakistani court, Jadhav was liable terrorism and espionage. On 17 July 2019 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its final verdict on the Kulbhusan Jadhav case between India and Pakistan. With a 15-1 majority decision in India's favor, the court found that Pakistan had breached its obligations under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR).
The international criminal court doesn't only punish but also look up to the victims participations, witness protections as well. This was all about the international criminal court one can know as far as basics are concern. The list of case laws under international criminal court is endless, but these are some of important case laws which can support you views for international court.

As per the Preamble of international criminal court On 17 July 1998, 120 States adopted a statute in Rome - known as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“the Rome Statute”) - establishing the International Criminal Court. For the first time in the history of humankind, States decided to accept the jurisdiction of a permanent international criminal court for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed in their territories or by their nationals after the entry into force of the Rome Statute on 1 July 2002.

The International Criminal Court is not a substitute for national courts. According to the Rome Statute, it is the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes. The International Criminal Court can only intervene where a State is unable or unwilling genuinely to carry out the investigation and prosecute the perpetrators.
The primary mission of the International Criminal Court is to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes.

A well-informed public can contribute to guaranteeing lasting respect for and the enforcement of international justice. The purpose of this booklet is to promote a better understanding of the International Criminal Court by providing answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Court.

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