Continuing Crimes in the Rome Statute

25 Michigan Journal of International Law 653 (2004)

37 Pages Posted: 29 May 2012 Last revised: 31 May 2012

See all articles by Alan Nissel

Alan Nissel

Wilshire Skyline, Inc.; Pepperdine University School of Law

Date Written: 2004


One of the most controversial negotiating points at the Rome Conference establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) was the scope of its jurisdiction. Some pressed for universal jurisdiction for all of the crimes in the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court; this would have allowed the ICC to try nationals of any state, whether it ratified the Rome Statute or not. Others sought to restrict the jurisdiction of the ICC to nationals of states that have ratified the Rome Statute; this, of course, would preclude the ICC from trying nationals of any state that has not ratified the Rome Statute. In the end, Article 12 grants the ICC jurisdiction to try nationals of a consenting state as well as over anyone involved in conduct taking place on the territory of one such consenting state. The resulting compromise has been called a form of “limited universal jurisdiction.” One of the debates on jurisdiction that carried on beyond the Rome Conference was about “continuing crimes.” This Article seeks to clarify the ways in which the continuing character of a crime affects the ICC’s jurisdiction and suggests rules to assist the ICC in its adjudication.

Keywords: Rome Statute, International Criminal Court, International Criminal Responsibility, Continuing Crimes

Suggested Citation

Nissel, Alan, Continuing Crimes in the Rome Statute (2004). 25 Michigan Journal of International Law 653 (2004). Available at SSRN:

Alan Nissel (Contact Author)

Wilshire Skyline, Inc. ( email )

7000 Franklin Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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3103883188 (Fax)

Pepperdine University School of Law ( email )

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Malibu, CA 90263
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