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…)
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.
President of Senegal announces ratification: At the opening of the 11th session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties in The Hague, the President of Senegal, Macky Sally, announced that his country will ratify the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression. During the general debate, many other delegations stressed their commitment to ratify; these include Austria, Botswana, Chile, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Luxembourg, Panama, Peru, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.
Photo: President of Senegal, Macky Sally, speaking at the opening of the ASP in The Hague. ©ICC-ASP/Ikeda
27 to go – Trinidad and Tobago ratifies crime of aggression amendments: On 13 November 2012, Trinidad and Tobago deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments with the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations. Trinidad and Tobago is the third country that has ratified (after Liechtenstein and Samoa), 27 additional ratifications are still required for activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression.
Photo: Ambassador Eden Charles and Ambassador Rodney Charles handing over the ratification instrument to Ms. Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli (Chief of the Treaty Section, OLA) ©United Nations
Germany starts ratification process in parliament: All political parties of the German Bundestag welcomed the swift ratification of the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression and on article 8 (war crimes) at their first reading on 18 October 2012. Spokespersons stressed that the amendments are a judicial milestone in international law and a historic opportunity, in particular important for Germany due to its history. Further information, please see the following news article in German and the official record of the reading.
Huffington Post article about aggression: Sam Sasan Shoamanesh, Co-founder, Global Brief, and Head of the Counsel Assistance Unit of the ICC, writes that “It has cost humanity rivers of blood, destruction of Biblical proportions, untold suffering and irreparable losses of peoples — in whole or in part — over millennia to finally recognize in the 20th century that war of aggression constitutes in Robert H. Jackson’s eloquent words, the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Look up, what Shoamanesh writes about the Kampala review conference, the amendments and why the time to act is now.
Samoa ratifies crime of aggression amendments: On 25 September 2012, Samoa deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments with the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations. It is the second country to ratify them. 28 are still needed for activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. The Prime Minister assures that “Samoa is not a member of any military grouping and has no aspirations to become one. We do so because we place great faith in the rule of law and the vital protection that the law offers to all States, especially to the weak and small. From this perspective, we consider the International Criminal Court one of the most important developments in the affairs of the international community in the struggle against impunity ….”
Photo: Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, deposits ratification bill with United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Patricia O’Brien.
15 States report on progress in ratification process: At a side event to the high-level meeting on the rule of law on 24 September 2012, hosted by Liechtenstein Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick and featuring Nuremberg Prosecutor Ben Ferencz, 15 ICC States Parties reported about their progress in ratifying. See the meeting summary here.