Defences to international crimes
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Darcy, Shane. (2011). Defences to international crimes. In William A. Schabas & Nadia Bernaz (Eds.), Handbook of International Criminal Law (pp. 231-245): Routledge.
The label 'defences' can be used to describe a range of excusing or justificatory answers to a criminal charge, or as 'grounds for excluding criminal responsibility', according to Article 31 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Defences are often categorized as excuses or justifications, with a justification being a challenge as to whether the act was wrongful and an excuse involving acceptance that the act was wrongful but seeking to avoid attribution of criminal responsibility. This chapter addresses defences to international crimes and is structured in two parts; the first considers those defences which have a counterpart in domestic criminal laws, such as duress, self-defence, mistake, or mental incapacity, and the second those defences which can be considered in some ways unique to international criminal law, such as superior orders and reprisal.