The Rethinking SLIC project has established an Expert Group on Secondary Liability for International Crimes and Serious Human Rights Violations (the SLIC Expert Group).

Based on a uniform methodology, thorough research, and comprehensive evaluation, the Expert Group will produce a set of principles of secondary liability. These principles will in part apply to all situations of secondary liability, but will also be adapted to suit each respective field of law where there is a legal framework for secondary liability: civil law, criminal law, and the law on State responsibility.

In addition, the Expert Group will offer recommendations for further development of the law in these three fields.

The Expert Group is broken down into five working groups:

  • Theoretical foundations of secondary liability
  • Human rights law and secondary liability
  • Secondary liability and actus reus
  • Secondary liability and mens rea
  • Secondary liability and due diligence

The working groups on theory and human rights will develop the framework for evaluating existing law and practice on secondary liability for international crimes and serious human rights violations.

The other working groups (3-5) will each adhere to the following algorithm:

  1. STOCKTAKING: analyzing the current state of the law and practice on secondary liability within the working group's domain.

  2. EVALUATION: evaluating the current state of the law and practice in light of set parameters, including the theoretical foundations of secondary liability (working group 1) and human rights requirements consisting of both the potential to contribute to preventing or ending human rights violations and the (human rights) requirements of accessibility and foreseeability of the law and individual fairness to the defendant or respondent (working group 2).

  3. IDENTIFICATION OF PRINCIPLES OF SECONDARY LIABILITY: on the basis of the stocktaking (A) and the evaluation of presumed principles of secondary liability (B), working groups 3-5 will discern established principles of secondary liability, keeping in mind that principles of secondary liability cannot be determined in one of the two following situations: 1) the relevant laws and practices diverge too much to infer a uniform standard or common approach that forms the basis for the presumption of a general principle of secondary liability; 2) although a presumed principle of secondary liability has been identified, it is not sufficiently consistent with the evaluative framework.

  4. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LAW: in the event that no principles can be distilled under C, each working group would offer recommendations as to the future development of the law. These recommendations can be used to develop rules of secondary liability that conform closely with human rights law and/or a contemporary theory of secondary liability. However, if approaches in law and practice diverge too widely, a preference may be indicated for those that are most in conformity with human rights law and/or a contemporary theory towards secondary liability.