Elements of War Crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Sources and Commentary

By Knut DÖrmann; Louise Doswald-Beck et al. | Go to book overview
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3. General Introduction adopted
by the PrepCom
During the negotiations it became apparent that there are certain issues that arise in all crimes and are worth clarifying. But these do not necessarily qualify as elements. Therefore the PrepCom decided that a general introduction applicable to all crimes1 should precede the section on the elements of particular crimes.The relationship between the crimes and general principles of criminal law presented the Working Group on Elements of Crimes with a particularly difficult drafting problem. Long discussions on this issue were held during an intersessional meeting convened for this purpose by the government of Italy and the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, in Siracusa, Italy. The results of the Siracusa meeting provided a useful basis for the discussions at the March 2000 session of the PrepCom,2 which tentatively agreed on the General Introduction. This text was confirmed with slight modifications during the final session of the PrepCom in June 2000. It reads as follows:3
1. Pursuant to article 9, the following Elements of Crimes shall assist the Court in the interpretation and application of articles 6, 7 and 8, consistent with the Statute. The provisions of the Statute, including article 21, and the general principles set out in Part 3 are applicable to the Elements of Crimes.
2. As stated in article 30, unless otherwise provided, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court only if the material elements are committed with intent and knowledge. Where no reference is made in the Elements

1 Henceforth 'General Introduction'.

2 See report reproduced in PCNICC/2000/WGEC/INF.1 of 10 March 2000.

3 The finalised draft text is reproduced in PCNICC/2000/1/Add.2 of 2 November 2000.

-9-

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