Aggression as 'Organized Hypocrisy?' – How the War on Terrorism and Hybrid Threats Challenge the Nuremberg Legacy

20 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2012

See all articles by Sascha Dov Bachmann

Sascha Dov Bachmann

Bournemouth University - The Media School; Swedish Defence University (FHS); Bournemouth University

Gerhard Kemp

Stellenbosch University - Law

Date Written: 2012


Modern threats to international peace and security from so called “Hybrid Threats”, multimodal threats such as cyber war, low intensity asymmetric conflict scenarios, global terrorism etc. which involve a diverse and broad community of affected stakeholders involving both regional and international organisations/structures, also pose further questions for the existing legacy of Nuremberg. The (perhaps unsettling) question arises of whether our present concept of “war and peace”, with its legal pillars of the United Nations Charter’s Articles 2(4), 51, and the notion of the criminality of waging aggressive war based on the “legacy” of Nuremberg has now become outdated to respond to new threats arising in the 21st century. This article also serves to warn that one should not use the definition of aggression, adopted at the ICC Review Conference in Kampala in 2010, to repeat the most fundamental flaw of Nuremberg: ex post facto criminalisation of the (unlawful) use of force. A proper understanding of the “legacy of Nuremberg” and a cautious reading of the text of the ICC definition of aggression provide some markers for purposes of the debate on the impact of new threats to peace and security and the use of force in international law and politics.

Suggested Citation

Bachmann, Sascha-Dominik Oliver Vladimir and Kemp, Gerhard, Aggression as 'Organized Hypocrisy?' – How the War on Terrorism and Hybrid Threats Challenge the Nuremberg Legacy (2012). Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Sascha-Dominik Oliver Vladimir Bachmann (Contact Author)

Bournemouth University - The Media School ( email )

Bournemouth, BH12 5BB
United Kingdom

Swedish Defence University (FHS) ( email )

114 28, Drottning Kristinas väg 37
Stockholm, 114 28

HOME PAGE: http://

Bournemouth University ( email )

Bournemouth, BH1
United Kingdom


Gerhard Kemp

Stellenbosch University - Law ( email )

South Africa

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