Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity

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The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, commonly known as the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 26, 1968. The convention was established to address the issue of statutory limitations or time limits on the prosecution of serious international crimes.

The main objective of the convention is to eliminate the possibility of war criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity escaping justice due to the passage of time. It recognizes that certain crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity, are so grave and shocking to the conscience of humankind that they should never be subject to any statute of limitations.

By removing the application of statutory limitations, the convention ensures that those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity can be held accountable for their actions, regardless of the time that has passed since the commission of the crimes. It sends a strong message that such crimes are considered heinous and should be prosecuted whenever and wherever they are discovered.

The convention has been an important instrument in international law, reinforcing the principle of individual criminal responsibility for the most serious international crimes. It has played a significant role in facilitating the prosecution and punishment of individuals who have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It is worth noting that the convention applies only to war crimes and crimes against humanity and does not cover other crimes such as genocide or acts of aggression. These crimes are addressed by separate legal instruments, such as the Genocide Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, respectively.

The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity reflects the commitment of the international community to ensure justice and accountability for the most severe crimes that threaten global peace and security.

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