James Stewart in EJIL Blog: “‘Specific Direction’ is Unprecedented: Results from Two Empirical Studies”
September 4, 2013

James Stewart, Fall 2012 Global Hauser Fellow at CHRGJ, has published a series of blog posts about “specific direction”  as a component of aiding and abetting. His latest post is available below:

EJIL:Talk! September 4, 2013

“Specific Direction” is Unprecedented: Results from Two Empirical Studies

by Dr. James Stewart

Over the past months, I have written a range of blogs explaining my normative disagreement with the controversial new standard of aiding and abetting announced by the ICTY in the Perišić Appeals Judgment, which purports to add “specific direction” to the actus reus of aiding and abetting.

In this final blog on the issue, I deal with the question of whether “specific direction” has any foundation in customary international law, but a complete list of my criticisms of this standard from a conceptual perspective, together with a short summary of each, is available online here. Instead of revisiting these conceptual criticisms, I here summarize two multi-year empirical studies into (a) all aiding and abetting incidents in the history of international criminal law; and (b) academic scholarship on complicity at national, international and theoretical levels.

I start by setting out the findings of the first study of aiding and abetting incidents in the case law of international criminal courts and tribunals, before I conclude by addressing the academic literature. In both of these areas, I have presented the material very succinctly for ease of digestion and debate. I have also included links to both datasets. As I hope will become quickly apparent, “specific direction” has no basis in customary international law or scholarly thought.

Read the rest of the blog post here.

Read Stewart’s previous blog posts on “specific direction” here.


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