A critical consideration of the exclusion of corporate criminal liability for the atrocity crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Masake, Pilisano Harris (2019-12)

Thesis (LLD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: From the international criminal law perspective, unlike the national law perspective, the principle of corporate criminal responsibility is not defined neither does the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) of 1998 provide for it. Therefore, currently, the ICC has no jurisdiction over legal persons. It is the argument of this dissertation that legal persons can commit atrocities. The exclusion of corporate criminal responsibility from the jurisdiction of the ICC undermines the preventative measures that are aimed at putting an end to impunity for atrocity crimes under international criminal law. Further that the exclusion of corporate criminal liability has potential to create unnecessary dissonance between the jurisprudence of the ICC and that of domestic courts. The premise for advancing the corporate criminal responsibility, among others, includes: first, that prosecuting and punishing corporations for international crimes (attributing criminal liability to corporations) would enhance the deterrence theory anticipated by the Rome Statute, thereby supplementing the principle of individual criminal responsibility. Second, it is trite law that corporations are at law construed as juristic persons vested with rights and obligations. Therefore, these legal realities, outweighs the corporations’ perceived lack of capacity to commit international crimes. Finally, evidenced by a series of human rights violations by corporations, there is a watertight case to argue that corporations are capable of being more complicit in the commission of core crimes than is currently assumed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Vanuit die perspektief van die internasionale strafreg, anders as die nasionale regsperspektief, word die beginsel van korporatiewe strafregtelike verantwoordelikheid nie algemeen erken nie, en die Rome Statuut van die Internasionale Strafhof (ISH) van 1998 maak ook nie daarvoor voorsiening nie. Daarom het die ISH tans geen jurisdiksie oor regspersone nie. Hierdie verhandeling argumenteer dat regspersone gruweldade kan pleeg. Die uitsluiting van korporatiewe strafregtelike verantwoordelikheid van die jurisdiksie van die ISH ondermyn die voorkomende maatreëls wat ten doel het om straffeloosheid vir gruwelmisdade onder internasional reg te beëindig. Verder het die uitsluiting van korporatiewe strafregtelike verantwoordelikheid die potensiaal om onnodige onenigheid tussen die regspraak van die ISH en dié van nasionale howe te skep. Die uitgangspunt vir die bevordering van korporatiewe strafregtelike verantwoordelikheid sluit in, onder andere: eerstens, dat die vervolging en strafoplegging van korporasies vir internasionale misdade (die toeskryf van strafregtelike aanspreeklikheid aan korporasies) die vooropgestelde afskrikkingsteorie van die Rome Statuut sal versterk, en sodoende die beginsel van individuele stragregtelike verantwoordelikheid sal aanvul. Tweedens, dit is ‘n gevestigde regsbeginsel dat korporasies as regspersone met regte en verpligtinge beskou word. Hierdie regsrealiteite weeg dus swaarder as die vooropstelling dat korporasies nie die vermoeë het om internasionale misdade te pleeg nie. Ten slotte, soos bewys deur ‘n reeks menseregteskendings deur korporasies, kan ‘n waterdigte argument uitgemaak word dat korporasies in staat is om meer aandadig aan die pleeg van kernmisdade te wees as wat tans aanvaar word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107056
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