Prosecutor v. Blaškić

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Blaškić
IT-95-14-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
July 29, 2004
Key Facts: 

Appellant, Commander of the Armed Forces in Central Bosnia, was convicted for crimes perpetrated during the conflict between the Croatian Defense Council and the Bosnian Muslim Army. The Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber’s aiding and abetting standard, but held that the Trial Chamber erred in part in its interpretation of the mens rea element. Ultimately the Trial Chamber did not matter, as it did not hold the appellant responsible for aiding and abetting the crimes at issue.


1. Practical assistance, encouragement, or moral support with “a substantial effect on the perpetration of the crime”

2. “[K]nowledge that these acts assist the commission of the offense” (¶ 46, citing Furundzija)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: An omission may constitute the actus reus of aiding and abetting depending on the circumstances (¶ 47).

MENS REA: The Trial Chamber erred in holding that “in addition to knowledge that his acts assist the commission of the crime, the aider and abettor needs to have intended to provide assistance, or as a minimum, accepted that such assistance would be a possible and foreseeable consequence of his conduct.” Rather, “knowledge on the part of the aider and abettor that his acts assist in the commission of the principal perpetrator’s crime suffices for the mens rea requirement” (¶ 49).

Appeals Chamber