War crime  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A war crime is a serious violation of the laws and customs of war (also known as international humanitarian law) giving rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes such as:

Similar concepts, such as perfidy, have existed for many centuries as customs between countries, but these customs were first codified as international law in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. The modern definition of a war crime was further developed under the auspices of the Nuremberg Trials, based on the definition in the London Charter that was published on August 8, 1945. Along with war crimes, the charter also defined crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, which are often committed during wartime and in concert with war crimes.

Article 22 of The Hague IV ("Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907") states that: "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited." Over the last century, many other treaties have introduced positive laws that place constraints on belligerents. Some of the provisions, such as those in the The Hague and the Geneva Conventions and the Genocide Convention, are considered to be part of customary international law, and are binding on all. Others are only binding on individuals if the belligerent power to which they belong is a party to the treaty which introduced the constraint.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "War crime" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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