Every member of the Vermont Congressional Delegation is a War =20
Criminal, as defined by the International Criminal Court and United =20
Nations Human Rights Commission Resolution A/HRC/29/L, due to their =20
respective votes (August 22, 2014) approving $225 million dollars =20
additional military aid to Israel, supporting Israel’s 2014 invasion =20
of Gaza (July 7-August 4).


The 29th Regular Session of United Nations Human Right Commission =20
(June 15-July 3) passed Resolution A/HRC/29/L. 35 “Ensuring =20
accountability and justice for all violations of international law in =20=

the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The United States is the only =20
country voting against this resolution which was approved by 41 =20
nations (with 5 other nations abstaining).

=46rom ICRC/International Committee of the Red Cross on Customary Human =
Rights Law:

Rule 156 of the International Criminal Court defines war crimes as =20
“serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in =20
international armed conflict” and “serious violations of the laws and =20=

customs applicable in an armed conflict not of an international =20
character. (ICC Statute, Article 8 , cited in Vol. II, Ch. 44, =C2=A7 3)

A deductive analysis of the actual list of war crimes found in various =20=

treaties and other international instruments, as well as in national =20
legislation and case-law, shows that violations are in practice =20
treated as serious, and therefore as war crimes, if they endanger =20
protected persons or objects or if they breach important values.

(i) The conduct endangers protected persons or objects. The majority =20
of war crimes involve death, injury, destruction or unlawful taking of =20=

property. However, not all acts necessarily have to result in actual =20
damage to persons or objects in order to amount to war crimes. This =20
became evident when the Elements of Crimes for the International =20
Criminal Court were being drafted. It was decided, for example, that =20
it was enough to launch an attack on civilians or civilian objects, =20
even if something unexpectedly prevented the attack from causing death =20=

or serious injury. This could be the case of an attack launched =20
against the civilian population or individual civilians, even though, =20=

owing to the failure of the weapon system, the intended target was not =20=

hit. The same is the case for subjecting a protected person to medical =20=

experiments =E2=80=93 actual injury is not required for the act to =
amount to =20
a war crime; it is enough to endanger the life or health of the person =20=

through such an act. (See Knut D=C3=B6rmann, Elements of War Crimes =
under =20
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Sources and =20
Commentary, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 130 and 233).

(ii) The conduct breaches important values. Acts may amount to war =20
crimes because they breach important values, even without physically =20
endangering persons or objects directly. (See ICC Statute, Article 8(2)=20=

(b)(xxvi) and (e)(vii)

Regarding individual criminal responsibility under international law
In the interlocutory appeal in the Tadi=C4=87 case in 1995, the Appeals =20=

Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former =20
Yugoslavia stated that =E2=80=9Cthe violation of the rule [of =
international =20
humanitarian law] must entail, under customary or conventional law, =20
the individual criminal responsibility of the person breaching the =20

This practice does not exclude the possibility that a State may define =20=

under its national law other violations of international humanitarian =20=

law as war crimes. The consequences of so doing, however, remain =20
internal and there is no internationalization of the obligation to =20
repress those crimes and no universal jurisdiction.

Earlier practice seems to indicate that a specific act did not =20
necessarily have to be expressly recognized by the international =20
community as a war crime for a court to find that it amounted to a war =20=


Practice provides further specifications with respect to the nature of =20=

the conduct constituting a war crime, its perpetrators and their =20
mental state.

(i) Acts or omissions. War crimes can consist of acts or omissions.

(ii) Perpetrators. Practice in the form of legislation, military =20
manuals and case-law shows that war crimes are violations committed =20
either by members of the armed forces or by civilians against members =20=

of the armed forces, civilians or protected objects of the adverse =20

(iii) Mental element. International case-law has indicated that war =20
crimes are violations that are committed wilfully, i.e., either =20
intentionally (dolus directus) or recklessly (dolus eventualis).

Liberty Union Party member opinion

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