Criminal Complicity or Business as Usual: A Study on Mens Rea Requirements for Corporate Complicity in War Crimes

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen; Lunds universitet/Juridiska fakulteten

Sammanfattning: This thesis examines the levels of mens rea required for corporate actors to be held liable for complicity in war crimes committed by States in non- international armed conflicts. The notion that corporations acting in conflict- torn areas can affect negatively upon the state of conflicts and in some cases even contribute to the commission of war crimes by other actors is becoming increasingly accepted. This calls for research regarding the ways corporate actors can be held accountable for potential wrongdoing under current regulations of international criminal law. The investigation is conducted using the legal doctrinal method and is written from an international as well as, in part, comparative perspective. Primary sources consisting in international treaties and past court rulings are studied in combination with legal doctrine primarily on the topics of international criminal law, complicity and mens rea. The results of the investigation show that current regulations on mens rea do make it possible to hold corporate representatives accountable for complicity in war crimes committed by States, but that it is generally required that they had a relatively good amount of knowledge about the possible implications of their involvement. The investigation further finds that mens rea requirements tend to differ depending on which court tries a case, with international courts generally applying stricter requirements of mens rea than national ones. These differing requirements of mens rea give testament to a fragmentation of international criminal law, meaning that a case could lead to conviction if tried by one court and acquittal if tried by another. The varying mens rea requirements can be seen as constituting a problem with regard to the efficiency of international criminal law, while on the other hand promoting equality and foreseeability within each national system.

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