The Criminal Liability of ISIS Brides : Could ISIS brides be held liable for war crimes as facilitators?

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201912024006
Title: The Criminal Liability of ISIS Brides : Could ISIS brides be held liable for war crimes as facilitators?
Author: James, Jessica
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201912024006
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/308317
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Kansainvälinen oikeus
International law
Folkrätt
Abstract: The category of supportive persons in armed groups is not exactly novel, yet their role has not been extensively examined. As an opportunity to relate the topic to current events, the analysis will be done with reference to ISIS brides. The UN has considered ISIS as obstacle to international security pursuant to its fragrant violations of humanitarian law as well as human rights. A part of the group’s notoriety stemmed from its ability to garner supporters from around the world. Women who moved to the group’s controlled areas have been dubbed as ISIS brides. Partly due to the nature of ISIS, the women often did not attain significant positions nor were they, for the most part ,directly involved in combat related activities. The main purpose of this thesis is to consider the potential criminal liability of ISIS brides and answer the question whether ISIS brides may incur criminal liability for supportive functions. Specifically criminal liability is looked at for ISIS brides who are not themselves engaged in explicitly criminalized activity. This will be coupled with determining the more general question of whether supporting an armed group in a non-military capacity may result in a conviction. The analysis is done through the disciplines of international criminal law and international humanitarian law with a special emphasis on war crimes. Further the attention is directed towards how such a case would fit the scope of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The thesis is divided into three main chapters coupled with a final chapter dedicated to tying the different parts together. The first chapter will set the stage by providing the reader an understanding of some key concepts, which will be used throughout the text. Defining terms such as ‘ISIS bride’ or determining the type of conflict at hand are among some of the major components, which make up chapter one. The second chapter will examine some of the activities, which have reportedly been engaged in by ISIS brides. The analysis is heavily based on the ICC’s jurisprudence but also on the case law of its predecessors such as the ad hoc tribunals. The third chapter will look towards the modes of liability set out in article 25 of the ICC’s Rome Statute. All of the modes of liability will be looked at from the view of the actus reus and mens rea requirements. From these it will be deduced whether a person who does not necessarily have control over the ultimate crime or the intent towards the occurrence of the crime can still be held liable. The final chapter will bring the findings of the previous chapters together as well as look towards the next steps within as well as outside of criminal law. As a conclusion it is possible to say that there is a margin within which the prosecution of ISIS brides for non-combat related activities might fall into. Out of the modes of liability, article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Staute on aiding and abetting and article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute on common purpose liability seem to be the best suited for attempting to prosecute ISIS brides. Although securing convictions for supportive activities may not always be possible, this cannot be said for all the examined situations. Settling into houses, which have been abandoned through force, and receiving other appropriated property may result in a criminal conviction. Similarly providing the venue for criminal activity or upcoming criminal activity, such as housing slaves, could yield in a conviction. Although the principle of legality must be adhered to it does not mean that the law must stand still. The prosecutions of ISIS brides would ultimately send a signal in as far as condemning activities, which actively ensure the existence of violent armed groups engaged in war crimes.


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