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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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The Defence of 'Obedience to Superior Orders' in International Law


ISBN13: 9780199670819
Published: October 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 1965)
Price: £41.99



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The first comprehensive monograph on the defence of superior orders after the second world war, which remains pre-eminent in the field, the republication of this highly-sophisticated work once again makes this book available to scholars and students in the field. First published in 1965, Yoram Dinstein set the standard for future analysis of this issue, providing a ground-breaking interpretation that integrated domestic and international law to provide a subtle and nuanced challenge to the countervailing perceptions of the time, shaped as they were by the Nuremburg and Eichmann trials. The recent jurisprudence of the ad hoc Tribunals has shown remarkably similar analyses to those offered by Dinstein in this book, demonstrating that this key work remains relevant today. Reviewing the relevant precedents that existed at the time, this book shows that superior orders were not, in and of themselves, a defence, but that orders were relevant to other defences, and therefore should not be entirely ignored. Assessing the issue on a conceptual and practical level, and offering an extraordinary level of detail, this is a is a seminal work in international criminal law. It makes required reading for scholars, students, and practitioners of international criminal law.

Subjects:
International Criminal Law
Contents:
PART I: NATIONAL LAW
1. The Dilemma and its Solutions
2. The Leipzig Trials

PART II: INTERNATIONAL THEORY
1. The Manifest Illegality Principle and the Personal Knowledge Principle
2. The Doctrine of Respondeat Superior
3. The Doctrine of Absolute Liability
4. The Mens Rea Principle

PART III: INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATION, 1919-1945
1. Initial Irresolution
2. The Negation of the Plea of Obedience to Superior Orders

PART IV: THE CASES
1. Trials before International Tribunals
2. Trials before National Courts

PART V: INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATION SINCE 1946
1. Doubts and Vacillations
2. The Work of the International Law Commission

Conclusions