Prosecutor v. Perišić

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Perišić
IT-04-81-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
February 28, 2013
Key Facts: 

Appellant, Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, had been convicted by a majority of the Trial Chamber for aiding and abetting murder, inhumane acts, persecutions, and civilian attacks, by providing assistance to the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS). The Appeals Chamber held that the Trial Chamber committed an error of law by failing to consider the specific direction element of aiding and abetting. After de novo review, the Appeals Chamber reversed the Trial Chamber.


1. Acts “specifically directed to assist, encourage, or lend moral support to the perpetration of a certain specific crime” with “a substantial effect on the perpetration of the crime” (¶ 26)

2. “[K]nowledge that assistance aids the commission of criminal acts, along with awareness of the essential elements of these crimes.” (¶ 48)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: The “specific direction” component originated from the 1999 Tadić Appeal judgment (¶¶ 26-28) and to date, “no judgement of the Appeals Chamber has found cogent reasons to depart from th[at] definition”(¶ 28).

Appeals Chamber