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International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals$
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Guénaël Mettraux

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207541.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2022

Grave Breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions

Grave Breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions

(p.54) 7 Grave Breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions
International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals

Guénaél Mettraux

Oxford University Press

Each of the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 contains a ‘grave breaches’ section, each differing from other categories of war crimes in at least two important respects. First, grave breaches only apply to armed conflicts of an international character (or to a state of occupation) and not to internal armed conflicts. The second main characteristic of the grave breaches regime concerns the status of those protected by it, in that the protection afforded thereunder is limited to specific categories of individuals (‘protected persons’) and properties (‘protected properties’). This article discusses the chapeau elements of war crimes contained in the statute of the ad hoc tribunal for the former Yugoslavia which constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including wilful killing, torture and inhuman treatment including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or a civilian of the rights of a fair and regular trial.

Keywords:   war crimes, armed conflicts, state of occupation, Geneva Conventions, grave breaches, protected persons, protected properties

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