Victims of the Crime of Aggression
The Crime of Aggression: A Commentary, edited by Stefan Barriga and Claus Kreß (Cambridge University Press, 2017)
42 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020
Date Written: January 1, 2017
The International Criminal Court confers significant rights on victims that suffer harm as a result of crimes within its jurisdiction. But the crime of aggression differs from other crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction: its protected objects are State sovereignty and international peace. Individuals do not have an affected legal interest in respect of this crime. This chapter examines whether the definition of ‘victim’ in rule 85 of the ICC’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence can or should apply to individuals and States with respect to the crime of aggression. It concludes that individuals can qualify as victims of the crime of aggression, since the term ‘harm’ in rule 85(a) does not require an affected legal interest. Individuals who suffer harm from this crime may accordingly apply to participate in the proceedings and seek reparations from the convicted person. This chapter also concludes that the definition of ‘victim’ under rule 85(b) could be liberally interpreted to include States. It further outlines relevant policy considerations and the practical implications of such recognition.
Keywords: victims, crime of aggression, ICC, reparations, international criminal law, Rome Statute
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