Psychologists and the question of civilian mental harm in international criminal proceedings involving war crimes: An unmeasurable measure or a new benchmark for the legality principle?

The legality principle in international criminal law ordains that any elements of a crime are duly defined. So far, international criminal courts have approached the question of civilian mental harm either with general reliance or no reliance to substantiated opinions of mental health experts. Drawing from domestic criminal law where the opinion of psychologists and psychiatrists is sought, the paper wishes to demonstrate how resort to such mental health experts in domestic law has contributed to the formation of gravity and duration as legal features for the assessment of mental harm, creating thus an assessment framework for civilian mental harm which can be transposed also to the international criminal proceedings in the course of trials relating to war crimes.