Foreign Assistance Complicity


In 2013, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY sent shockwaves through international legal circles when it ruled that “neutral” support to armed groups engaged in combat activities could not give rise to criminal responsibility absent evidence that the support was “specifically directed” toward the group’s unlawful activities. This Article contributes to the debate over the foreign assistance cases by questioning two of its key premises: the pervasive assumption that the resolution of these cases can and should be determined by recourse to the kind of precedential analysis that has dominated judicial consideration of international aiding and abetting cases, and the assumption that the resolution of individual foreign assistance cases turns on the particular doctrinal choices that have divided judges and commentators.