Mistake of Law
When a perpetrator of an international crime argues in his defence that he did not realise that he had violated the law, is this a reason not to punish him? International crimes constitute serious offences and it could be argued that he who commits such an offence must know his act is punishable. After all, everyone is presumed to know the law. However, convicting someone who is mistaken about the wrongfulness of his act may be in violation of the principle ‘no punishment without guilt’. This book investigates when 'mistake of law' should be a reason to exculpate the perpetrator of an international crime. It demonstrates that the issue of 'mistake of law' goes to the heart of individual criminal responsibility and therewith contributes to the development of a more systematic approach toward the structure of international offences.
Valuable for academics and practitioners in the field of International Criminal Law.
Demonstrates that the defense of 'mistake of law' concerns one of the most fundamental principles of criminal law, i.e. 'no punishment without guilt' Contributes to the development of a more systematic approach toward the structure of international offences Contains a comparative law analysis of four major legal systems in the world and an analysis of (inter)national case law concerning the defense of mistake of law and superior orders Academic research, crisp and clear, which makes the book a helpful tool for practitioners in the field of International Criminal Law