Any Other Contribution? Ascribing Liability for Cover-Ups of International Crimes

Michael Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


As the International Criminal Court (the Court or ICC) continues to develop the parameters of the various modes of liability set out in Article 25(3) of the Rome Statute, recent developments raise questions as to whether the Court can consider participation in cover-ups or concealment of crimes as giving rise to individual criminal responsibility. It is only recently that international tribunals, and notably the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), have turned to consider how international criminal law approaches responsibility for cover-ups or concealment of crimes. In reviewing how and why the ICTY has addressed individual criminal liability for engaging in cover-ups, and in light of the ICC’s Mbarushimana decision, the aim of this paper is to suggest how the ICC might consider such issues in future cases. Having demonstrated the necessity of international criminal law accounting for cover-ups, the paper will discuss how the jurisprudence, in toto, excludes the possibility of holding to account individuals who contribute to the cover up of international crimes, by whatever means, or however grave, unless they were acting on the premise of a prior agreement with the principals. By way of conclusion the paper will suggest that an expansive interpretation of Article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute may provide a means of addressing this gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331–370
Number of pages40
JournalCriminal Law Forum
Issue number3
Early online date18 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


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