The Application of the Joint Criminal Enterprise Doctrine in International Criminal Law for the Prosecution of Sexual Offences

Hartle, Chelsea (2015-12)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2015

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The aim of my thesis is to test Haffajee‟s propositions in order to determine the most suitable construction of the Joint Criminal Enterprise (“JCE”) doctrine to establish a link between an accused and a sexual offence, perpetrated by another, where there is reason to believe that the accused had intent and made a contribution. An evaluation of cases, concerning incidences of sexual violence, from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (“ICTR”) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”) revealed that the reoccurring inability of the prosecution to successfully link the accused to the crime, committed by another, is the cause of the difficulty experienced in securing successful prosecutions. The individual criminal responsibility of the physical perpetrator therefore falls beyond the scope of this thesis. The JCE doctrine is a mechanism that attributes individual criminal responsibility to an accused for crimes that he or she did not physically perpetrate. The accused‟s wrongfulness arises from his or her intentional and substantial contribution to the criminal enterprise with the direct intent of furthering the common criminal purpose or plan. JCE category three has been successfully used by the ICTR, ICTY and United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (“MICT”) to establish the criminal responsibility of high-ranked officials for acts of sexual violence committed by others. However the JCE doctrine has not been used by the International Criminal Court (“ICC”). My research therefore departed from the primary assumption that the ICC may rely on the jurisprudence of the ad hoc tribunals when interpreting provisions of the Rome Statute pertaining to individual criminal responsibility, in order to sustain the continued use of the JCE doctrine within international criminal law. An in-depth investigation revealed that the jurisprudence of the ad hoc tribunals is neither expressly listed as an applicable source for interpreting the Rome Statute nor does it amount to binding precedent. Nevertheless, the ICC may have to consider the jurisprudence of the ad hoc tribunals when interpreting the Rome Statute because the jurisprudence often reflects principles and rules of international law. Notwithstanding the usefulness of JCE category three, the doctrine cannot unjustifiably limit the rights of the accused or infringe the principles of legality and the principle of culpability. The original construction of JCE category three, as first applied by the ICTY in the Prosecutor v Tadić, poses a threat to the principle of culpability because it imposes equal liability to all contributory JCE members, irrespective of their degree of contribution. Furthermore, it has been used to establish liability for specific intent crimes even though the accused did not possess specific intent. Arguably, the reform of article 25 of the Rome Statute that expressly incorporates and codifies a more detailed construction of JCE category three, as developed by the ad hoc tribunals over a decade, which allows for attribution of a varying degrees of liability; relative to the specific accused‟s intent and contribution, shall ensure the protection of the principle of culpability and the principles of legality.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie tesis is daarop gemik om Haffajee se voorstel te toets om „n gepaste verklaring van die Joint Criminal Enterprise-leerstuk (“die leerstuk”) te skep waar die beskuldigde aan die seksuele misdaad, wat deur „n ander persoon gepleeg is, verbind word. ʼn Evaluering van regspraak betreffende gevalle van seksuele geweld by die Internasionale Kriminele Tribunaal vir Rwanda (“ICTR”) en die Internasionale Kriminele Tribunaal vir die voormalige Joego-Slawië (“ICTY”) het ʼn herhalende neiging ontbloot waar die vervolging nie in staat was om die beskuldigde aanspreeklik te hou nie weens die onvermoë om die misdaad van ʼn ander party aan die beskuldigde te verbind en is dus die rede vir die onsuksesvolle vervolgings. Die individuele strafregtelike aanspreeklikheid van die fisiese dader val dus buite die bestek van hierdie tesis. Die leerstuk is ʼn teorie wat individuele strafregtelike aanspreeklikheid aan ʼn beskuldigde toereken vir misdade wat hy of sy nie fisies uitgevoer het nie. Die beskuldigde se wederregtelikheid is gegrond in sy of haar opsetlike en wesenlike bydrae tot die kriminele onderneming, tesame met die direkte opset om die gemeenskaplike kriminele doelwit te bevorder. Kategorie drie van die leerstuk is al suksesvol deur die ICTR, ICTY en die Verenigde Nasies Meganisme vir Internasionale Kriminele Tribunale (“MICT”) toegepas om hooggeplaaste amptenare aanspreeklik te hou vir seksuele geweld wat deur ander uitgevoer is. My navorsing het dus afgewyk van die primêre veronderstelling dat die Internasionale Strafhof (“die Strafhof”) op die regspraak van die ad hoc-tribunale mag steun wanneer die Strafhof die bepalings van die Statuut van Rome interpreteer om die voortgehoue gebruik van die leerstuk in internasionale strafreg volhoubaar te laat geskied. ʼn In-diepte studie het onthul dat die regspraak van die ad hoc-tribunale nie uitdruklik gelys is as ʼn toepaslike bron om die Statuut van Rome te interpreteer nie en dit kom ook nie neer op ʼn bindende presedent nie. Die Strafhof sal nietemin die regspraak van die ad hoc-tribunale moontlik in ag moet neem wanneer die Statuut van Rome interpreteer word, omdat die regspraak dikwels beginsels en reëls van internasionale reg weerspieël. Desnieteenstaande die nut van kategorie drie van die leerstuk, kan die leerstuk nie ʼn ongeregverdigde skending maak op die regte van die beskuldigde of inbreuk maak op die legaliteitsbeginsel en die skuldbeginsel nie. Die oorspronklike konstruksie van kategorie drie van die leerstuk, soos dit aanvanklik toegepas is deur die ICTY in Prosecutor v Tadić, stel ʼn risiko vir die skuldbeginsel omdat dit gelyke aanspreeklikheid aan al die bydraers ingevolge die leerstuk toereken, ongeag elkeen se graad van deelname. Dit is ook verder al gebruik om aanspreeklikheid vir spesifieke opset-misdrywe op te wek, alhoewel daar geen spesifieke opset deur die beskuldigde teenwoordig was nie. Daar kan geargumenteer word dat die hervorming van artikel 25 van die Statuut van Rome, wat ʼn meer omvattende konstruksie van kategorie drie van die leerstuk inkorporeer, soos ontwikkel deur die ad hoc-tribunale oor die afgelope dekade, aanspreeklikheid toepas relatief tot die beskuldigde se opset en bydrae wat sal verseker dat die skuldleerstuk en die legaliteitsbeginsels beskerm word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97905
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