Nexus with the accused

Notion(s) Filing Case
Judgement on Sentencing Appeal - 20.07.2005 DERONJIĆ Miroslav

The Appellant argued that the vulnerability of the victims cannot be considered as an aggravating circumstance because it is not directly related to the offender himself. The Appeals Chamber rejected this argument and held that:

124. […] The statement by the Kunarac et al. Trial Chamber that aggravating circumstances must relate “to the offender himself” is not to be taken as a rule that such circumstances must specifically pertain to the offender’s personal characteristics. Rather, it simply reflects the general principle of individual responsibility that underlies criminal law: a person cannot be held responsible for an act unless something he himself has done or failed to do justifies holding him responsible. […] Here, not only was the Appellant aware of his victims’ defencelessness and took advantage of it, but he exacerbated it through Milutin Milošević’s statements making false promises of safety on his behalf, which he accepted.[1] There is no question that this factor “relates to the offender himself”.

[1] Sentencing Judgement, para. 209 referring to Appellant’s Testimony, T.159.

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