Our purpose: Promoting peace through criminal justice – preventing crimes of aggression

Through the United Nations Charter, virtually all States in the world have expressed their commitment “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. They have agreed to renounce the illegal threat or use of force, and to settle their disputes “by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered”. States have the legal duty to abide by this commitment (more…)

and the UN Security Council has the primary responsibility to enforce it.The Nuremberg Trials made it clear that criminal justice also has an important role to play for the promotion of peace and the deterrence of acts of aggression – though it remained limited and theoretical for many decades thereafter. With the 2010 Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the promotion of peace through criminal justice has gained new momentum. States Parties to the ICC decided to empower the Court to hold leaders accountable who are responsible for the most serious forms of the illegal use of force against other States at the 2010 Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda.
They adopted a definition of the crime of aggression, which is also expected to be incorporated into many domestic criminal codes. They thus created a new mechanism to enforce the most important rule of international law: the prohibition of the illegal use of force under the United Nations Charter. 30 ratifications, as well as a further decision by States Parties in 2017, are required for the ICC take up this new function. This website is dedicated to making this new accountability mechanism a reality.

News

21 NOV 2013

Support for crime of aggression at Assembly of ICC States Parties: At the annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Court, many States Parties took the floor during the General Debate to speak about the Kampala Amendments. 12 States Parties made a positive mention of the crime of aggression amendments. Many, including Botswana and Germany, called for others to ratify, so as to ensure that the amendments could be activated in 2017. Others updated on their domestic ratification procedures. Croatia and Belgium announced that both Kampala amendments had received parliamentary approval, and that they hoped to deposit their instruments of ratification before the end of the year. Delegates will have a chance to benefit from the experience of the early ratifiers of the Kampala Amendments at a side event organised by the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression and Liechtenstein.

Photo © CICC/ Katharina Tjart

27 SEP 2013

UN Secretary-General calls on States to ratify Kampala Amendments: In his message to a side-event organized by the Global Campaign on 27 September, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon called on States to follow the lead of those that had already ratified the amendments. He stated that “Kampala completed the work of Rome. Just as important, it also completed the work of San Francisco more than 65 years ago.” The message was delivered by the UN Legal Counsel, Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares. On the podium, the Foreign Ministers of Botswana, Estonia and Liechtenstein, as well as the Vice Foreign Minister of Argentina echoed that message. 19 States took the floor in the ensuing debate to update on the status of ratification in their own country, to underscore the importance of the amendments, and to call upon others to ratify. For more information, please see the past events section on our website.

26 SEP 2013

Uruguay ratifies crime of aggression amendments: On 26 September, Luis Almagro, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay deposited his country’s instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments with the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations. Uruguay thus becomes the first Latin American State Party to ratify the amendment and the 11th overall to do so. Further ratifications from the region are expected in the coming months. In total, four States made use of the opportunity afforded by the UN Treaty Event to deposit their instruments of ratification at the ministerial level.

Photo © United Nations / Win Khine

26 SEP 2013

Andorra ratified crime of aggression amendments: On 26 September, Antoni Martí Petit, Head of Government of Andorra deposited his country’s instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments at the United Nations treaty event. Andorra is the 10th State Party to ratify the amendments. Upon activation of the amendments in 2017, the ICC will be the first international court since the International Military Tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo to hold individuals responsible for the crime of aggression.

Photo © United Nations / Win Khine

25 SEP 2013

Slovenia ratifies crime of aggression amendments: On 25 September, Karl Erjavec, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia deposited his country’s instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments with the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations. Slovenia has been a key partner of the global campaign for ratification of the amendments and is the 9th State Party to ratify the amendments. Upon activation of the amendments in 2017, the ICC will be the first international court since the International Military Tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo to hold individuals responsible for the crime of aggression.

Photo © United Nations / Win Khine

25 SEP 2013

Cyprus ratifies crime of aggression amendments: Ioannis Kasoulides, foreign minister of Cyprus, deposited his country’s instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments with the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations today. Cyprus is the 8th State Party to ratify the amendments. It is the 2nd State from Asia and the 4th Member of the European Union that has completed the process. Upon activation of the amendments in 2017, the ICC will be the first international court since the International Military Tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo to hold individuals responsible for the crime of aggression.

Photo © United Nations / Win Khine

15 JUL 2013

Slovenian National Assembly ratifies Kampala Amendments: All 83 deputies present voted in favour of ratification. Once the remaining formalities – including the gazetting of the Amendments and their signature by the President – are complete and the amendments are deposited with the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, Slovenia will become the second Eastern European State Party to the amendments.

Photo © mapsofworld.com

26 JUN 2013

Swiss Government launches consultation procedure on ratification of Kampala Amendments: The Swiss Government today launched a public consultation procedure, which is a necessary prerequisite for ratification of the Kampala Amendments. Switzerland took a key role in negotiations before and during the Review Conference in Kampala, including by submitting an important compromise proposal in Kampala, together with Argentina and Brazil (the famous “ABS proposal”). If approved, the ratification could take place in early 2015.

See also the official press release as well as the explanatory report. The report is available in German, French and Italian and could be a useful tool for other States working on ratification.

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