Advanced

The limits of mens rea in Crimes against Humanity - Assessment, liberalism, thresholds

Lundberg, Hugo LU (2017) LAGF03 20172
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Straffrättsligt ansvar har mycket länge förutsatt uppsåt eller vetskap om den företagna handlingen, så kallad mens rea eller "skyldigt sinnelag". Hur en sådan bedömning görs är inte självklart. Kan, till exempel, en misstänkt hållas ansvarig för handlingar som resulterat i många dödsfall, även om det inte var det primära syftet med handlingen? Vilken roll spelar vårdslöshet? Den här uppsatsen syftar till att undersöka praxis och mens reas undre gräns i förhållande till brott mot mänskligheten, ett internationellt brott som angriper grundläggande mänskliga värden. Samtidigt har uppsatsen till syfte att kritiskt undersöka om det går att skönja någon liberal påverkan i artikeln som reglerar brott mot mänskligheten.

Detta görs genom att... (More)
Straffrättsligt ansvar har mycket länge förutsatt uppsåt eller vetskap om den företagna handlingen, så kallad mens rea eller "skyldigt sinnelag". Hur en sådan bedömning görs är inte självklart. Kan, till exempel, en misstänkt hållas ansvarig för handlingar som resulterat i många dödsfall, även om det inte var det primära syftet med handlingen? Vilken roll spelar vårdslöshet? Den här uppsatsen syftar till att undersöka praxis och mens reas undre gräns i förhållande till brott mot mänskligheten, ett internationellt brott som angriper grundläggande mänskliga värden. Samtidigt har uppsatsen till syfte att kritiskt undersöka om det går att skönja någon liberal påverkan i artikeln som reglerar brott mot mänskligheten.

Detta görs genom att kritiskt gå igenom och praxis, historien samt författaren till artikeln om brott mot mänskligheten och samtidigt fokusera på eventuella ideologiska aspekter när det är möjligt. Analysen har visat att förbudet mot brott mot mänskligheten är sprunget ur en liberal idé, särskilt i förhållande till artikelns författare. Dock har liberalismen haft ett begränsat inflytande på dess efterföljande praxis.

Angående mens rea har uppsatsen kommit fram till att det i olika tribunaler inte funnits något koherent sätt att göra bedömningen. Det har varierat i allt från vikten av diskriminerande uppsåt till möjligheten att konstruera viss vetskap utifrån materiella omständigheter. Den nedre gränsen för mens rea har också fluktuerat men har lägst manifesterats som vårdslöshet. Beaktas den nutida regleringen i Romstadgan förefaller dock vårdslöshet vara en osannolikt låg tröskel, i stället tyder allt på att "oblique intent" är den lägsta gränsen för mens rea i ICC. (Less)
Abstract
It is an age old principle that criminal responsibility requires a certain mental state, generally of intent or knowledge, referred to as mens rea in this essay. Such an assessment is not self-evident. For instance, could a perpetrator be held liable for massive loss of life, even if it was not a primary intention? What is the role of recklessness? This essay seeks to examine the case law and the lower limits of mens rea in regard to Crimes against Humanity, which is an international crime striking at core values of humanity. At the same time, it aims to critically investigate whether there has been any discernible influence from liberalism in the provision.

This is made possible by critically outlining the history, author and case law... (More)
It is an age old principle that criminal responsibility requires a certain mental state, generally of intent or knowledge, referred to as mens rea in this essay. Such an assessment is not self-evident. For instance, could a perpetrator be held liable for massive loss of life, even if it was not a primary intention? What is the role of recklessness? This essay seeks to examine the case law and the lower limits of mens rea in regard to Crimes against Humanity, which is an international crime striking at core values of humanity. At the same time, it aims to critically investigate whether there has been any discernible influence from liberalism in the provision.

This is made possible by critically outlining the history, author and case law of Crimes against Humanity while at the same time consciously focusing on ideology where possible. The analysis demonstrated that the prohibition of Crimes against Humanity stems from a liberal idea, especially in regard to the author of the concept, but in the subsequent case law liberalism has had a limited influence.

Concerning mens rea, the essay found that no coherent assessment has persisted through the different tribunals. It varies in regard to everything from the importance of discriminatory intent to the concept of constructive knowledge. The lower limit in the case law varies with the assessment but the lowest have been that of recklessness. In regard to the current provision on mens rea in the ICC statute this seems unlikely, with oblique intent as more probable threshold. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lundberg, Hugo LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20172
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
mens rea, crimes against humanity, intent, knowledge, liberalism, lauterpacht, chomsky, international criminal law, icty, ictr, icc, al-shifa
language
English
id
8930426
date added to LUP
2018-02-06 14:27:53
date last changed
2018-02-06 14:27:53
@misc{8930426,
  abstract     = {It is an age old principle that criminal responsibility requires a certain mental state, generally of intent or knowledge, referred to as mens rea in this essay. Such an assessment is not self-evident. For instance, could a perpetrator be held liable for massive loss of life, even if it was not a primary intention? What is the role of recklessness? This essay seeks to examine the case law and the lower limits of mens rea in regard to Crimes against Humanity, which is an international crime striking at core values of humanity. At the same time, it aims to critically investigate whether there has been any discernible influence from liberalism in the provision. 

This is made possible by critically outlining the history, author and case law of Crimes against Humanity while at the same time consciously focusing on ideology where possible. The analysis demonstrated that the prohibition of Crimes against Humanity stems from a liberal idea, especially in regard to the author of the concept, but in the subsequent case law liberalism has had a limited influence. 

Concerning mens rea, the essay found that no coherent assessment has persisted through the different tribunals. It varies in regard to everything from the importance of discriminatory intent to the concept of constructive knowledge. The lower limit in the case law varies with the assessment but the lowest have been that of recklessness. In regard to the current provision on mens rea in the ICC statute this seems unlikely, with oblique intent as more probable threshold.},
  author       = {Lundberg, Hugo},
  keyword      = {mens rea,crimes against humanity,intent,knowledge,liberalism,lauterpacht,chomsky,international criminal law,icty,ictr,icc,al-shifa},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The limits of mens rea in Crimes against Humanity - Assessment, liberalism, thresholds},
  year         = {2017},
}