War crime

war crimeswar criminalwar criminalsatrocitiesatrocitycrimeswar-crimewar-crimesinternational crimesInternational war crime
A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility.wikipedia
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International criminal law

international crimesinternational crimeinternational criminal justice
Numerous trials of Axis war criminals established the Nuremberg principles, such as notion that war crimes constituted crimes defined by international law.
The core crimes under international law are genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.

Command responsibility

under the commandYamashita Standardresponsibility
The trial of Peter von Hagenbach by an ad hoc tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire in 1474 was the first "international" war crimes trial, and also of command responsibility.
Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the legal doctrine of hierarchical accountability for war crimes.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
Following the end of World War II, major developments in the law occurred.
Tribunals were set up by the Allies, and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and against the Japanese.

Universal jurisdiction

principle of universal justiceuniversal justiceuniversal
Additionally, the Geneva Conventions in 1949 defined new war crimes and established that states could exercise universal jurisdiction over such crimes.
According to Amnesty International, a proponent of universal jurisdiction, certain crimes pose so serious a threat to the international community as a whole that states have a logical and moral duty to prosecute an individual responsible; therefore, no place should be a safe haven for those who have committed genocide, crimes against humanity, extrajudicial executions, war crimes, torture and forced disappearances.

Perfidy

perfidiousbreaching the rules of wardressed in ARVN uniforms killed the guards
Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, and military necessity.
Perfidy constitutes a breach of the laws of war and so is a war crime, as it degrades the protections and mutual restraints developed in the interest of all parties, combatants and civilians.

Henry Wirz

Captain Wirz
In 1865, Henry Wirz, a Confederate States Army officer, was held accountable by a military tribunal and hanged for the appalling conditions at Andersonville Prison, where many Union prisoners of war died during the American Civil War.
After the war, Wirz was tried and executed for conspiracy and murder relating to his command of the camp, and was one of only two people convicted for war crimes during the American Civil War.

Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville PrisonAndersonvilleCamp Sumter
In 1865, Henry Wirz, a Confederate States Army officer, was held accountable by a military tribunal and hanged for the appalling conditions at Andersonville Prison, where many Union prisoners of war died during the American Civil War.
The site was commanded by Captain Henry Wirz, who was tried and executed after the war for war crimes.

Superior orders

Nuremberg Defenseonly following ordersjust following orders
He was convicted and beheaded for crimes that "he as a knight was deemed to have a duty to prevent", although he had argued that he was "just following orders".
Hagenbach offered the defense that he was just following orders, but this defense was rejected and he was convicted of war crimes and beheaded.

Nuremberg trials

NurembergInternational Military TribunalNuremberg Trial
The modern concept of war crime was further developed under the auspices of the Nuremberg Trials based on the definition in the London Charter that was published on August 8, 1945.
The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany, who planned, carried out, or otherwise participated in the Holocaust and other war crimes.

Geneva Conventions

Geneva Conventionillegal under international lawCommon Article 3
Additionally, the Geneva Conventions in 1949 defined new war crimes and established that states could exercise universal jurisdiction over such crimes.
The most serious crimes are termed grave breaches, and provide a legal definition of a war crime.

Nuremberg principles

Nuremberg Principle IVPrinciple IVNuremberg Principle
Numerous trials of Axis war criminals established the Nuremberg principles, such as notion that war crimes constituted crimes defined by international law.
The Nuremberg principles are a set of guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime.

International Criminal Court

ICCICCtAssembly of States Parties
On July 1, 2002, the International Criminal Court, a treaty-based court located in The Hague, came into being for the prosecution of war crimes committed on or after that date.
The ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.

Hostage

hostage rescuehostage takinghostage crisis
Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, and military necessity.
Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions states that the taking of hostages during an internal conflict is a war crime and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever.

No quarter

quartertake no prisonersput to the sword
Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, and military necessity.
Since a judgment on the law relating to war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials in October 1946, the 1907 Hague Convention, including the explicit prohibition against declaring that no quarter will be given, is considered to be part of the customary laws of war and binding on all parties in an international armed conflict.

Nuremberg Charter

London CharterLondon Charter of the International Military TribunalCharter of the International Military Tribunal
The modern concept of war crime was further developed under the auspices of the Nuremberg Trials based on the definition in the London Charter that was published on August 8, 1945.
Three categories of crimes were defined: crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Protocol III

Geneva Protocol III2005protective emblems
Use of one of the emblems to protect combatants and military equipment with the intent of misleading an adversary is perfidy and is considered a war crime.

Torture

torturedtorturingtorture device
Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, and military necessity.
The Rome Statute provides a simplest definition of torture regarding the prosecution of war criminals by the International Criminal Court.

Sexual slavery

sexual exploitationsex slavewhite slavery
It also defines sexual enslavement as a war crime and a breach of the Geneva Conventions when committed during an international armed conflict (Article 8.b.xxii) and indirectly in an internal armed conflict under Article(8.c.ii), but the courts jurisdiction over war crimes is explicitly excluded from including crimes committed during "situations of internal disturbances and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts of a similar nature" (Article 8.d).

Looting

plunderlootedpillage
Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, and military necessity.
In armed conflict, pillage is prohibited by international law, and constitutes a war crime.

Radovan Karadžić

KaradžićRadovan KaradzicKaradzic
Radovan Karadžić (, ; born 19 June 1945) is a Bosnian Serb former politician and convicted war criminal who served as the President of Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War and sought the unification of that entity with Serbia.

Human Rights Watch

HRWAmericas WatchHuman Right Watch
Relying on extensive on-the-ground fact-finding, Americas Watch not only addressed perceived abuses by government forces but also applied international humanitarian law to investigate and expose war crimes by rebel groups.

Combat medic

medicfield medicarmy medic
According to the Geneva Convention, knowingly firing at a medic wearing clear insignia is a war crime.

Slobodan Milošević

Slobodan MilosevicMiloševićSlobodan Milosević
During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Milošević was charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crimes in connection to the wars in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo.

War in Darfur

Darfur conflictDarfurTimeline of the War in Darfur
This resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the indictment of Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.