San Diego International Law Journal

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



The idea that Joint Criminal Enterprise, in particular its extended version, contravenes fundamental principles of criminal law has gained track. Thus, not only did the International Criminal Court distance itself from the construct but, today, the widely held view is that the extended version should be discarded, not least because it is not grounded in customary international law. This Article challenges that view. While addressing scholarly criticism towards Joint Criminal Enterprise, and demonstrating why the “beast” is a solid construction, it argues that prosecutors and judges must look past the written provisions of the Statute of the International Criminal Court and embrace Joint Criminal Enterprise. This, not only because the construct has firm grounds in customary law and the ICC must interpret its statute in consistency with this body of law, but also because it represents an accurate description of how individual responsibility is triggered within a group of persons who share a common criminal purpose. This Article also argues that a proper understanding of the extended version requires particular attention to Tadić’s specific direction requirement in the domain of aid and abet.