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International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals$
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Guénaël Mettraux

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207541.001.0001

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Chapeau Elements of Crimes against Humanity

Chapeau Elements of Crimes against Humanity

(p.155) 11 Chapeau Elements of Crimes against Humanity
International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals

Guénaél Mettraux

Oxford University Press

What distinguishes a crime against humanity from an ordinary crime (or from other international crimes) is the requirement that it must have been committed in the context of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population. This requirement, which constitutes the chapeau or general requirements of crimes against humanity, must be seen as a whole and sets out the necessary context in which the acts of the accused must be inscribed. For the purpose of discussion, it may be divided, however, into five sub-elements: an attack; a link or nexus exists between the acts of the accused and the attack; the attack is directed against any civilian population; the attack is widespread or systematic; and the perpetrator has the appropriate state of mind or mens rea.

Keywords:   crimes against humanity, attack, accused, civilian population, mens rea

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