These are particularly serious violations of IHL, endangering protected persons and/or objects, or breaching important international values, for which the individual criminal responsibility of perpetrators may be engaged. War crimes can be committed in both international and non-international armed conflicts, although the list of possible war crimes is not identical for both types of conflicts.
The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I establish that certain violations of IHL are to be considered “grave breaches”, and they must be prosecuted by High Contracting Parties on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction. Other serious violations of IHL are established by customary international law and by international criminal law treaties. Such serious violations of IHL, together with grave breaches, constitute war crimes.
War crimes constitute one category of “international crimes”, the others being genocide and crimes against humanity.
See Breach, Violations; Individual criminal responsibility; Genocide; Crimes Against Humanity; International Criminal Court; ICTY; ICTR; International criminal law; Individual criminal responsibility;
Penal sanctions required for
GCI, 50 (see ICRC updated Commentary)
GCII, 51 (see ICRC updated Commentary)
Fundamental guarantees for persons accused of war crimes
GCI, 49/4 (see ICRC updated Commentary)
GCII, 50/4 (see ICRC updated Commentary)
GCIII, 82-88 and 105-108 and 129/4
The International Criminal Court (Part A., Art. 8)
Germany, International Criminal Code (Paras. 8-12)
Canada, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (Section 4)
Ghana, National Legislation Concerning the Emblem
Belgium, Law on Universal Jurisdiction. (A., Art. 136 (c).)
Hungary, War Crimes Resolution
United States Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, United States v. Alfried Krupp et al.
Israel, Human Rights Committee’s Report on Beit Hanoun (Paras. 49, 68 and 75)
Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia (17, 27 and 32)
UN, Statute of the ICTY (Part B. and Part C., Arts 2 and 3)
ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Tadic (Part A., Paras. 79-84)
ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Rajic (Part A., Para. 8)
ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Blaskic (Part A., Paras. 151-158)
Colombia, Constitutionality of IHL Implementing Legislation
United States, Military Commissions
Mali, Destruction of World Cultural Heritage
South Sudan: Medical Care Under Fire
Health Care in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas
Switzerland, The Immunity of General Nezzar
Democratic Republic of Congo, Fighting with the M 23 Group
Central African Republic, Coup d’Etat
Somalia, the fate of Children in the conflict
European Court of Human Rights, Kononov v. Latvia
Israel/Palestine, Operation Protective Edge (Gaza, 13 June - 26 August 2014)
ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadzic
Libya, Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2014/15)
Mali, Accountability for the Destruction of Cultural Heritage
Sweden/Syria, Can Armed Groups Issue Judgments?
UN, Security Council Resolution 2286 on Attacks on Hospitals
Iraq, Forced displacement and deliberate destruction
El Salvador, Supreme Court Judgment on the Unconstitutionality of the Amnesty Law
USA, Al-Shimari v. CACI Premier Technology, Inc.
Syria, Report by UN Commission of Inquiry (March 2017)
Afghanistan, Bombing of a Civilian Truck
Italy, Use of force against ambulances in Iraq
Switzerland: Gold Looting Case
Israel/Palestine, Accountability for the Use of Lethal Force
ICC, Confirmation of Charges against LRA Leader
Spain, Universal Jurisdiction over Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions
UN/Colombia, Human Rights Committee Clarifications and Concluding Observations (2016)
International Criminal Court, Trial Judgment in the Case of the Prosecutor V. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo
Germany, Aerial Drone Attack in Mir Ali/Pakistan
Eastern Ukraine, Attacks Against and Military Use of Schools
Eastern Ukraine, OHCHR Report on the Situation: November 2016 - February 2017
Central African Republic/Democratic Republic of Congo/Uganda, LRA attacks
Central African Republic, Coup d'Etat
Iraq, Crimes by Militia Groups
Georgia: Attacks against peacekeepers
32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Sexual and gender-based violence: joint action on prevention and response
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