Lybia Crisis – ICC Prosecutor went for CAH rather than war crimes

On a press conference held today, 3 March 2011, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced that Muammar Gaddafi and others shall be investigated for alleged crimes against humanity committed in Lybia.

There was a discussion going on on whether Moreno-Ocampo would be investigating war crimes or crimes against humanity and as it seems, the latter has prevailed. Although the existence of an armed conflict is not necessary to prove crimes against humanity, a systematic and widespread attack against the civilian population are the key elements to do so – both quite difficult to prove. Nevertheless, crimes against humanity do seem more fit to the Lybia situation (not sure if an armed conflict is what’s happening there). 

For more on this topic, have a look at the interesting discussion in Opinio Juris

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