The Triangular Relationship between Mental Heath, Armed Conflict and Criminal Liability Under Article 8 of the Rome Statute
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Article 8 of the Rome Statute regulates war crimes, referring to any violations of the IHL. IHL traditionally focuses on mental harm. However, armed conflicts can also cause severe mental harm. The development of science allows reliable assessment of mental harm caused by armed conflict. Hence this thesis looked at the triangular relation between mental heath, armed conflict and criminal liability under article 8 of the Rome Statute. It aims to answers the question; To what extent could mental harm trigger individual criminal responsibility under article 8 of the Rome Statute? The research found that armed conflict is capable of causing serious mental harm, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, psychosomatic complaints, DID, and so on. Which in turn causes hypertension, cardiovascular disease, decreased immune system, and so on. The aforementioned harm can be caused by various prohibited acts under IHL. For example, torture, sexual abuse, separation from parents, recruitment into military activity, water shortage, nutritional deficiencies, stress of caregivers, unnecessary suffering, community destruction, displacement, exposure to traumatic incidents and violence, loss of protective factors, stress caused by migration and reintegration, and so on. It may disable a person´s daily functioning and may last a lifetime. Reliable diagnose include trauma-focused cognitive therapy, MRI and so on. It was concluded that these methods are capable or reliably posterior assessment, as well as it can accurately predict their emerge. Followingly it was found that article 8 itself did not specifically referred to mental harm. However, EoC made reference to mental harm. Other sources provided a more extensive protection. However, there were commonalities. First, mental harm may fall under the scope of war crimes, provided that mental harm is severe enough. Moreover, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment resulting in mental harm appears to be prohibited. Additionally, mutilation, harmful medical practices, sexual violence and a few other forms of mental harms are referred to, but not extensively dealt with. Hence, it was concluded that mental harm may trigger individual criminal responsibility under article 8 of the Rome Statute. However, IHL provide little explanation on it. Therefore, the research turned to national and international sources of law. It appeared that; 1) there is a nexus, 2) mental harm is severe enough and 3) the harm was foreseeable then it shall be prohibited under article 8 of the Rome Statute. To successfully achieve this, both courts and armed forces shall cooperate with mental health experts.