ICC states strike deal on aggression

16 June 2010 by David Rupiny

The biggest achievement at the two-week International Criminal Court review conference in Kampala, which ended last weekend, was the consensual agreement on the crime of aggression.

“This is what I came in here to achieve and that is what we’ve been able to achieve,” said Christian Wenaweser, president of the Assembly of States Parties that oversees the ICC. The agreement came after many hours of wrangling among ICC member and non-member states, which had different views and stakes in the final outcome. From the outset the US, a non-member state, had pushed for consensus on the matter. The adopted resolution says the UN Security Council would have the primary call for an investigation, but the ICC itself and individual member states would also be able to initiate probes. Critics say the deal would shield non-members, such as the US, China and Russia, from being investigated

Watered down version

The amendment on  the crime of aggression, Article 8bis, defines the crime as “the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a state, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations”.

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