Definition

War crime (international law) [Ro: crima de război, Fr : crime de guerre, Gr: έγκλημα πολέμου] (See also : crime against humanity, crime violating the conventions of the war, genocide) = a serious and generally willing violation of international agreements, treaties, or of the laws and customs applicable in an armed conflict, consisting of either an action or an omission.  Examples of war crimes include violations of international humanitarian law, such as torture or biological experiments on individuals, taking hostages, wilful killing, as well as  destruction of one’s property.

Useful resources

Legislation

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/ihl/INTRO/195 - Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907 [English]

https://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/publications/icrc-002-0173.pdf - The Geneva Conventions of 1949 [English]

https://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/icrc_002_0321.pdf - Additional Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 [English]

Case Law

http://crimeofaggression.info/documents/6/1946_Nuremberg_Judgement.pdf - International Military Tribunal (Nuremberg), Judgment of 1 October 1946

Online publications

https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ictr0110webwcover.pdf - Human Rights Watch, Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, A Digest of the Case Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [English]

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule156 - Internationa Committe of the Red Cross - Definition of war crimes [English]

https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/Law-Reports_Vol-1.pdf - United Nations War Crimes Commission, 1947, Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals [English]

Publications

Aafjes A., 1998, Gender violence: the hidden war crime, Washington D.D.: Women Law &Develpment International [English]

Schabas W., 2012, Unimaginable atrocities: justice, politics and rights at the war crimes tribunals, Oxford, Oxford University Press [English]

Simpson G.S., 2004, War Crimes Law, Aldershot, Hants, Englad: Ashgate/Darmouth [English]

Simpson G.S., 2007, Law, War and Crime: War Crimes, Trials and the Reinvention of International Law, Polity Press [English]
 

By Georgiana Caramihai