To Withdraw or Not to Withdraw: A Structural Analysis of the Scope and Limits of Voluntary Withdrawal of Criminal Attempt in the Rome Statute

In: International Criminal Law Review
Igor Vuletić Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Osijek, Osijek, Croatia

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Voluntary withdrawal of criminal attempt is one of the fundamental institutes of the general part of criminal law, originally codified in international criminal law in the Rome Statute. Since the Statute attributed significant legal effects to withdrawal, which excludes the liability for criminal attempt, it is important to establish a clear understanding on its scope and limitations. This article analyses controversial issues related to the legal nature of withdrawal as grounds for exclusion of criminal liability, withdrawal of individual offenders and accomplices, and provides interpretations on potential solutions for these issues. The analysis is based on the subjective conception of withdrawal, under which its essence lays in the rejection of the initial criminal intent, while taking into consideration withdrawal in the context of international crime. Based on the analysis, an original three-level test for the determination of withdrawal in the future practice of the International Criminal Court, (icc) is proposed.

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