Doctoral thesis

The Defence of Mistake of Law in International Criminal Law

ContributorsCoco, Antonio
Defense date2019-03-29

This thesis explores the defence of mistake of law in the context of international criminal proceedings, especially at the International Criminal Court (ICC). In so doing, it first defines the contours of the defence of mistake of law in general theory of criminal law, distinguishing it from cognate defences and highlighting its connection with superior orders. Secondly, the thesis gives an overview of the possible normative approaches to the defence, offering examples from national law as terms of reference for the subsequent analysis of international criminal law. Thirdly, it surveys the relevant law and practice of international criminal tribunals, with a focus on the ICC, and it contemplates offences for which a defence of mistake of law may actually succeed. Fourthly, this thesis draws on the previous analysis, making some observations about the source of international criminal tribunals' legitimacy and about the purpose of punishing individuals at the international level.

  • Mistake
  • Mistake of law
  • International criminal law
  • International crimes
  • Theory
  • Criminal law
  • International criminal court
  • International criminal tribunals
  • Legitimacy
  • Purposes of punishment
  • Public international law
  • War crimes
  • Crimes against humanity
Citation (ISO format)
COCO, Antonio. The Defence of Mistake of Law in International Criminal Law. 2019. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:120397
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Creation06/12/2019 6:55:00 PM
First validation06/12/2019 6:55:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 5:44:38 PM
Status update03/15/2023 5:44:37 PM
Last indexation01/29/2024 9:52:12 PM
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