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In the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) case Prosecutor v. Musema, the trial chamber held that an individual can be found guilty solely for the crime of conspiracy to commit genocide even if no genocide takes place. The trial chamber found its jurisdiction to punish the crime of conspiracy under its establishing statute, but looks almost exclusively at national legal traditions to determine its content. It cites no other international law supporting its decision to incorporate domestic concepts into the crime. In contrast, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which relatively recently entered into force, seems to have intentionally dropped the crime of conspiracy to commit genocide from its list of crimes under its jurisdiction. This legal and conceptual discord raises the question of whether conspiracy is actually a legitimate substantive international crime, and whether tribunals should continue to apply it.

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Conspiracy, International criminal law