Justifying a Dichotomy in Defences. The Added Value of a Distinction between Justifications and Excuses in International Criminal Law

in International Criminal Law Review
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The distinction between justifications and excuses is a much-debated topic in legal doctrine. Justifications are said to negate the wrongfulness of the act; excuses negate the blameworthiness of the actor. This article discusses the (moral and legal) significance of distinguishing between justifications and excuses and explores the value this dichotomy has for international criminal law.

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References

8

Fletcher, 1998, supra note 5, p. 85.

12

Cassese and Gaeta, supra note 9, p. 209; K. Greenawalt, ‘Distinguishing justifications from excuses’, 49(3) Law and Contemporary Problems (1986) 100.

20

Krebs, supra note 17, p. 384.

22

Cassese and Gaeta, supra note 9, p. 210; F. de Jong, Daad-Schuld (bju, The Hague, 2009) pp. 392–393.

23

Greenawalt, supra note 12, p. 91.

25

Greenawalt, supra note 12, p. 90: criminal law ‘reflects and reinforces moral judgements’.

26

Cassese and Gaeta, supra note 9, p. 210.

27

Greenawalt, supra note 12, p. 89 (‘our moral evaluation of a justified actor is different from our moral evaluation of an excused actor’).

28

Krebs, supra note 17, p. 385.

31

Cassese and Gaeta, supra note 9, p. 210; Cassese, supra note 19, p. 952.

33

Krebs, supra note 17, p. 385.

44

Cassese, supra note 19, p. 955.

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