Expanding Jurisdiction Over War Crimes Under Article 8 of the ICC Statute

Journal of International Criminal Justice (2010) 8 (5): pp 1219-1243

26 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2015

See all articles by Amal Alamuddin

Amal Alamuddin

Doughty Street Chambers

Philippa Webb

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2010

Abstract

The Review Conference on the International Criminal Court (ICC) held in Kampala in June 2010 resulted in the first amendment ever made to the Rome Statute. This historic amendment was, in substance, a rather modest change to the provisions on war crimes--expanding the Court’s jurisdiction over the use of prohibited weapons in international armed conflicts to their use in armed conflicts of a non- international character. The amendment was relatively uncontroversial because the language to be added to Article 8, and the accompanying elements of the crimes, already existed for international armed conflicts. This language has yet to be interpreted by the ICC, however. The breadth of the Court’s jurisdiction over the newly added crime will likely depend on how broadly the Court will interpret the prohibition on the use of ‘gases’ and the mens rea requirement for each of the crimes. Perhaps most importantly, the Court will have to clearly define where the jurisdictional line between internal law-enforcement activities and armed conflicts should be drawn. Overall, the amendment forms part of a broader movement to reduce or remove the distinctions between the protections available in international and non-international armed conflicts. The process by which the amendment was successfully adopted is also instructive for future efforts to modify the ICC Statute.

Keywords: ICC, Rome Statute, International Criminal Court, Kampala, Review Conference 2010, International Armed Conflict, War Crimes, Article 8 ICC Statute

Suggested Citation

Alamuddin, Amal and Webb, Philippa, Expanding Jurisdiction Over War Crimes Under Article 8 of the ICC Statute (November 1, 2010). Journal of International Criminal Justice (2010) 8 (5): pp 1219-1243. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2556791

Amal Alamuddin

Doughty Street Chambers ( email )

10 Doughty Street
London WC1N 2PL
United Kingdom

Philippa Webb (Contact Author)

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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