Posted: June 25th, 2022

LAWS0237 International Criminal Law

Question:

You can read the case study in Prosecutor, Murray, Ratray and Impaler Judgment Of Trial Chamber II, and answer the following question:

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The Prosecution will argue that the Trial Chamber correctly ruled that the Round-up and Detention of Vampires Accused of Involving with the VLO was both a war crime as well as a crime against humanity.

Answer:

The International Criminal Court (ICC), Trial Chamber, has brought forward charges relating to war crimes and crimes against mankind.

Col. Renfeld and his senior advisor, Lieutenant Col Murray, are the main suspects in this case. Lt. Ratray is Murray’s assistant. They are all citizens of Stoker and Lykins.

Vladmir Impaler was also charged with an attempted crime against humanity along with the other suspects. He is also known as Nosferatu, a Vampire by ethnity, and Nosferatu, from the republic of Shelly.

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Jonathan Harker, also known by the name Dracula and as a Vampire, is Impaler’s key witness.

Hacker is considered a witness because he cooperated during the investigation and helped to curtail the possible death of many civilians.

The Vampire Insurgency

Vampires created Vampire Liberation Organization, (VLO) in an attempt to defend their territory of Carpathia.

This liberation group became a militia with the help of the State of Shelly, which provided arms to its members.

Every uprising needs a leader. VLO was headed by Impaler, who served as the military commander, and Harker, who was the head of political activism.

As suspect and witness respectively, the two individuals mentioned are brought to court.

Admissibility

The European neighboring countries of Stoker, Jabba, and Shelly State include Europe.

Jabba and Stoker are both members of the ICC, while Shelly State is not a party to the Rome Statute of ICC.

This case is inadmissible because Shelly republic isn’t party to the ICC. However, all four suspects were brought forward by the Republic of Stocker, which is a member of the Rome Statute.

The state of Stocker, which is a member of the Rome Statute, has not initiated criminal proceedings against any of the four suspects nor does it object to ICC action.

War Crimes

Article 8 of Rome Statute defines war crimes as any action that is part of a plan to: willfully kill, torture or unlawfully confine people; direct attacks on civilian populations, not participating in hostilities, military objectives, or bombarding buildings such as hospitals or churches which are undefended.

These and other actions, as well as others, were committed by three military officers.

The state of Stoker ordered Col. Renfeld, its commander, to take all necessary actions to end the vampire insurgency. Renfeld’s and Ratray’s actions, as described above, will be considered war crimes.

Article 8 (part 2 (VIII), of the Rome statute describes unlawful confinement as a violation the Geneva Convention and a war crime.

Renfeld, Murray, and Ratray formed a plan to forcefully detain Vampires believed to be VLO members. They executed it after a meeting on April 2.

Col. Renfeld was the judge for those Vampires held at Camp Garlic.

Rome’s statute allows for fair hearing in court to determine one’s responsibility in an illegal activity.

Camp Garlic detainees were not granted a forum for legal counsel nor a judicial hearing.

In light of these facts, the prosecution has directed war crime charges against three of the mentioned perpetrators.

Additionally, Lt. Col. Murray ordered that unarmed Vampires under 15 years old were killed and shot as they attempted to flee or resist arrest in April 2011.

The prosecution has recorded Lt. Ratray’s confession, which he executed through his command of solders.

Col. Renfeld testifies against issuing these orders, but he admits that he failed to take disciplinary action against his juniors due to ignorance to this fact.

Lt. Ratray argues that he acted under duress to excuse him from criminal liability.

He claims that his senior Lt. Col. Murray threatened to shoot him and anyone else who refused to follow his orders.

Article 31section 1(d) of the Rome Statute states that a criminal action cannot be taken if there’s a threat of imminent death, such as Ratray being shot.

It goes on to say that this can only be done if the individual does not intend to cause greater harm than the problem they seek to avoid.

Shooting children and unarmed people would cause more harm than the Vampire Uprising, which was the problem that the army was trying to solve.

Article 32 of Rome statute explains well whether there was a mistake of fact or a mistake of law.

Col. Renfeld claims that he did not know that Murray’s order to kill unarmed children and people by Murray was a crime.

It is a common belief that ignorance is not a defense.

A mistake in law cannot be used to defend someone unless it negates the mental element of the crime.

His defense of mistake of law cannot be based on Renfeld juniors’ inability to provide mens rea defense regarding Renfeld juniors’ omission to investigate the killings of children and unarmed persons.

Soldiers are trained in combat law and should only engage armed persons who pose a threat to life. This includes unarmed children.

Ratray also ordered the bombing of a cathedral he believed to be home to VLO militia.

His actions led to the deaths of unarmed civilians who were not participating in hostilities, as per Article8 2b (i) in the Rome statute.

The same article 2 b (v and ix) also defines the bombardment of undefended buildings or religious institutions as a war criminal as it was committed by Lt. Ratray.

Although he knew that the act described above was a crime, Lt. Col. Murray only notified Ratray and reassigned Ratray to another post without filing court martial charges against him.

Murray’s actions prove his inaction or his encouragement of his junior officers to commit criminal acts.

Article 28 a(ii) of Rome Statute regarding commanders and other senior officers states that these individuals are criminally liable for failing to submit such actions to investigation and prosecution by competent authorities.

The prosecution considers the following actions war crimes: willful killing and bombardment of unarmed buildings. Therefore, Renfeld, Ratray, and Murray are possible to be charged with war crimes.

Their direct, indirect, and commissions actions, as well as their omissions and commissions to act, caused the deaths of 200 children and unarmed adults, and many other casualties in a Carthania cathedral.

This is against article 8 of the Rome Statute, which prohibits war crimes.

Article 7 of the Rome Statute defines crimes against humanity to be acts that are part of a systematic attack against civilian populations. These include murder, torture, or acts causing severe mental or physical suffering, or bodily harm.

Renfeld, Murray, and Ratray committed crime against humanity by their actions.

Lt. Ratray’s forceful feeding of the Vampires at Camp Garlic resulted in them suffering torture, mental and bodily harm.

Article 25 1 b of this statute defines individual criminal responsibility as the act of directing criminal activity against another person.

Ratray admitted to ordering his soldiers forcefully feed Vampires during the hunger strike.

Col. Renfeld faces the same charges of failing to act against a junior officers criminal actions, claiming that he wasn’t in his direct chain.

Murray’s failure to act on a crime against humanity committed by his junior while on leave does not absolve him of the crime.

This means that Murray knew Ratray had committed a crime against humanity, but failed to act on it even though he was back at work.

Murray, Renfeld, and Ratray are jointly charged with the commission and omission of crimes against humanity.

A recording of Hacker discussing Impaler’s involvement in an attempt at committing crimes against humanity is being used to support the accusations against Vladmir Impaler.

According to the prosecution, Impaler VLO leader Jonathan Hacker is also being charged in Republic of Jabba.

Rome Statute article 17 (1)(a) prohibits one from being admitted to ICC if another country has commenced prosecution on the same charges as in Hacker’s case.

The prosecution concludes that Vladmir Impaler is guilty of the attempted crimes against humanity charges because he did not object to them.

These crimes are confirmed by the bombs that were found in Stocker’s republic after Hacker’s confession and his refusal to object to the charges.

Refer to

Primary Sources

Cases

The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto Henry Kiprono Kosgey Joshua Arap Sang Francis Kirimi Muthaura Uhuru Muigai Kenta Mohammed Hussein Ali [2011] ICC-01/09/02/11 O A [42] – [43]

Statutory Instruments and Statuses

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

ICC Cases and Legislation

International Criminal Court Investigations in Kenya

The Admissibility Challenge in Kenyan Cases was determined by the Appeals Chamber

Directions for the Moot Court Mini Assignment

Prosecutor against Renfeld, Murray and Ratray and Impaler

Judgment of the Trial Chamber II

Secondary sources

Command Papers and Law Commission Report

Referral to the ICC by Waki

Appeal of the Republic of Kenya against Pre-Trial Chamber II’s decision of 30 May 2011, entitled “Decision by the Government of Kenya Challenging The Admissibility of Case Pursuant To Article 19(2)(b) of Statute”

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