The International Criminal Court: What in the World is the Crime of Aggression and Who in the World is to Say?
57 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2006
Date Written: 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.
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
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation