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The International Criminal Court: What in the World is the Crime of Aggression and Who in the World is to Say?

Jenny Miao Jiang

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

July 2004

The International Criminal Court (ICC), created by the Statute of Rome, is the first of its kind: a permanent international institution charged with the mandate of trying individuals for "the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole." Four crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The first three crimes are defined in Articles 5-8 of the Rome Statute. Although the Statute also recognizes the crime of aggression, it precludes the Court from exercising jurisdiction over the crime until a relevant provision has been adopted into the Statute, which: (1) defines the crime, and (2) sets forth the conditions under which the Court may exercise jurisdiction over individuals with respect thereto.

To date, state parties to the ICC have put forth numerous proposals, both on defining the substantive crime of aggression, and on prescribing the conditions for the Court's exercise of jurisdiction. This Article examines some of these proposals, summarizes the arguments made with respect to each, and makes recommendations as to a preferred course of action.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: International Criminal Court, ICC, crime of aggression, United Nations, Security Council, General Assembly, UN Charter, jurisdiction, ICJ, individual criminal responsibility, prosecution, state sovereignty, international crimes, accountability, war of aggression, military action, head of state

JEL Classification: H56, K14, K33, K42, N40

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Date posted: October 12, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Jiang, Jenny Miao, The International Criminal Court: What in the World is the Crime of Aggression and Who in the World is to Say? (July 2004). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=936895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.936895

Contact Information

Jenny Miao Jiang (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )
215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
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