Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Who is breaching the law ?

War crimes are defined in the statute that established the International Criminal Court, which includes:

Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, such as:

Willful killing, or causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health
Torture or inhumane treatment
Unlawful wanton destruction or appropriation of property
Forcing a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of a hostile power
Depriving a prisoner of war of a fair trial
Unlawful deportation, confinement or transfer
Taking hostages

The following acts as part of an international conflict:

Directing attacks against civilians
Directing attacks against humanitarian workers or UN peacekeepers
Killing a surrendered combatant
Misusing a flag of truce
Settlement of occupied territory
Deportation of inhabitants of occupied territory
Using poison weapons
Using civilians as shields
Using child soldiers

The following acts as part of a non-international conflict:

Murder, cruel or degrading treatment and torture
Directing attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers or UN peacekeepers
Taking hostages
Summary execution
Rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution or forced pregnancy

However the court only has jurisdiction over these crimes where they are "part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes.

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