It offers a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the foundations and general principles of substantive international criminal law, including thorough discussion of its core crimes. It provides a detailed understanding of the general principles, sources, and evolution of international criminal law, demonstrating how it has developed, and how its application has changed. After establishing the general principles, the book assesses the four key international crimes as defined by the statute of the International Criminal Court: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. This new edition revises and updates work with developments in international criminal justice since It includes new material on the principle of culpability as one of the fundamental principles of international criminal law, the notion of terrorism as a crime under international law, the concept of direct participation in hostilities, the problem of so-called unlawful combatants, and the issue of targeted killings. The book retains its highly-acclaimed systematic approach and consistent methodology, making the book essential reading for both students and scholars of international criminal law, as well as for practitioners and judges working in the field.

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Metrics details Dr. Gerhard Werle is a professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin, holding the chair for German and International criminal law, criminal law procedure and legal contemporary history. Together with his collaborators at Humboldt — Florian Jessberger, Wulf Burchards, Volker Nerlich, and Belinda Cooper of World Policy Institute, New York — Professor Merle has produced a highly methodical textbook on the principles of international criminal law in the thorough German scientific tradition.

The book is divided into six parts, each beginning with a summary of recent legal literature in English, German and French up-to-date as of August The appendices contain 80 pages of texts and references to concrete cases.

A detailed index, tables of cases, statutes and international instruments refers the user to the marginal numbers on each page. As such, the book greatly facilitates retrieval. The author deals with all legal aspects of international criminal law, bases his interpretation of the ICC statute and supports his position with customary law: cases from the Tribunals on Former Yugoslavia, on Rwanda, the international military tribunals of Nuremberg and Tokyo, the Permanent Court of Justice and national courts.

Discussion is not really taken on except in footnotes that refer to different views. From the book, it becomes evident that international criminal law generally developed into a system of legal norms that indeed is usable, though the interpretation shows a rather optimistic tendency.

Political scientists and historians would have loved a more elaborate discussion of specific issues, based on reality rather than principles, such as the crucial problem of obtaining adequate evidence e. The importance of the Rwanda national court in relation to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda also has great relevance for future decisions on persecution in such cases, and the reader welcomes elaboration of such issues. Of course, a discussion of the interesting political context and politically inspired legal discussions does not belong to this exclusively legal approach.

In conclusion, the book by Professor Werle and his colleagues is most certainly of great use to international lawyers and researchers and deserves great credit for its methodical structure and systematic approach.


Principles of International Criminal Law : 2nd Edition

Summing up the main approaches towards Nor is there any mention, just to give another elements of crimes in international criminal example, of the current investigations by the law, the author concludes that, unlike in domes- ICC into crimes against peacekeepers, identi- tic criminal law systems, international crimes fied by the ICC Prosecutor as one of the promi- have three elements under international crim- nent features of the current situation in Darfur. The specific elements of international crimes, which are considered in subsequent parts of the book, are further characterized from the point of view of these three elements Gerhard Werle, Principles of material, psychological and circumstantial. The paragraphs are focuses exclusively on material law. According numbered consecutively, which facilitates look- to the author, who is Professor of German and ing up the text through the table of contents International Criminal Law at the Alexander- and cross references. Cassese, International 5th edn. Book Reviews modestly-named volumes is any guide, international law of armed conflict Diritto Principles of International Criminal Law may internazionale dei conflitti armati in as also have a very successful future ahead. It quickly became hardback ISBN the text of choice in Italian universities teach- ing the laws of war, and in some courses Laura Perna, The Formation of the Treaty in public international law.


Principles of International Criminal Law


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