Status of Ratification and Implementation of the
Kampala Amendments on the Crime of Aggression
Update No. 9 (information as of 15 November 2013)
see right sidebar for pdf versions in English, French and Spanish
A. Ratifications registered with the Depositary of the Rome Statute (11 States Parties)
On 8 May 2012, Liechtenstein ratified, as the first country, the amendments on the crime of aggression together with the amendments on Article 8 (war crimes) adopted at the 2010 Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the ICC, held in Kampala, Uganda. The amendments entered into force for Liechtenstein on 8 May 2013, while the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression can only be activated in 2017. In order to achieve this goal at least 30 States Parties will have ratify as early as possible, ideally by the end of 2015, and the Assembly of States Parties will have to decide to activate the jurisdiction of the Court in 2017.
Since then, the following States have also ratified both Kampala amendments: Samoa (25 September 2012), Trinidad and Tobago (13 November 2012), Luxembourg (15 January 2013), Estonia (27 March 2013), Germany (3 June 2013), Botswana (4 June 2013), Cyprus (25 September 2013), Slovenia (25 September 2013), Andorra (26 September 2013) and Uruguay (26 September 2013). Luxembourg and Slovenia are the first countries having ratified and implemented the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression. Estonia and Germany already had pre-existing domestic laws criminalizing aggression that overlap with the Kampala definition.
B. Concrete progress
According to the information available, government or parliamentary officials in at least the following States Parties are currently actively working on the ratification of the amendments on the crime of aggression: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. In Ghana, Guatemala, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Macedonia (FYROM) and Venezuela, the process is in its early stages.
On 22 April 2012, the Foreign Affairs committee of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile approved the draft bill submitted by President Sebastian Piñera for the ratification of both Kampala amendments. A supplementary report is necessary from the Constitution, Legislation and Justice Committee before approval by the Plenary and before consideration by the Senate.
On 5 June 2012, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Didier Reynders, announced that steps to ratify the two amendments are being undertaken.
In November 2012, the Government of The Netherlands submitted to Parliament the Kampala Amendments bill. Discussion, approval and deposit are expected in 2013.
On 26 June 2013, the Government of Switzerland launched a public consultation procedure, the first step in the national process for ratification of the Kampala Amendments. If approved, ratification could take place in early 2015.
On 4 July 2013, the International Relations and Foreign Trade Committee of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica decided positively on the ratification of the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute. The government had, on 30 June 2012 submitted a draft bill to that effect. The decision for ratification is now pending at the Plenary of the Assembly.
On 13 August 2013, the Government of Paraguay sent to the Chamber of Deputies, for its consideration, the bill to ratify the Kampala Amendments.
C. Commitments to ratification
At the ninth and tenth sessions of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP; December 2010 and 2011), the following States Parties made concrete commitments to ratify the amendments on the crime of aggression: Austria, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Estonia, Germany, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, the following countries made positive references to the amendments: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
On 17 November 2011, the European Parliament, through Resolution 2011/2109(INI), welcomed the adoption of the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute, including on the crime of aggression, and called on all EU Member States to ratify them and incorporate them into their national legislation.
On 16 February 2012, at the Pacific Outreach Roundtable on the ICC in Sydney, participants from Australia, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and New Zealand agreed that it was desirable for all Pacific Island Countries to become States Parties to the Rome Statute and called upon the region to consider acceding to the Statute as amended in 2010 (i.e. including the amendments on war crimes and on the crime of aggression).
On 18 April 2012, the European Parliament adopted resolution 2012/0126, which recognizes the jurisdiction of the ICC over the four core crimes. The resolution welcomes the adoption of the amendments related to the crime of aggression and certain war crimes at Kampala and it calls on all Member States to ratify these substantive amendments promptly and to implement them in their domestic penal systems. In this context, it calls on the Council and the Commission to use their international authority in the interest of securing and strengthening the universality of the Rome Statute for an internationally agreed definition of acts of aggression in breach of international law.
On 11 June 2012, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela called upon all States Parties to ratify the amendments adopted in Kampala.
In the context of the General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law on 24 September 2012, the following countries made pledges regarding the ratification of the amendments on the crime of aggression: Argentina (asap), Austria (in 2013), Belgium (by 2015), Bulgaria (by the end of 2014), Costa Rica (by the end of 2014), Estonia (by the end of 2013), Georgia (within 2013), Germany (implementation), Luxembourg (by early 2013), Netherlands (asap), Slovenia (by the end of 2014), and Switzerland (asap).
At a side event to the High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law on “Preventing the illegal use of force through judicial accountability”, organized by Liechtenstein on 24 September 2012 in New York, the Minister of Justice of South Africa, Mr. Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, announced that South Africa will ratify the amendments before 2017.
At the opening of the eleventh session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in The Hague on 14 November 2012, the President of Senegal, Mr. Macky Sally, announced that his country will ratify the amendments without delay. Besides Senegal, the following States Parties stated their concrete commitment to ratify the amendments on the crime of aggression: Austria, Botswana, Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Panama, Peru, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. Other States Parties made positive references to the Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression, such as Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Jordan, and Sierra Leone.
At the seventh session of the Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC and the Rule of Law, organized by Parliamentarians for Global Action and hosted by the Italian Chamber of Deputies and Senate in Rome on 10 and 11 December 2012, 200 members of Parliament from 50 countries from all regions of the world adopted the Rome Plan of Action through which they resolved to ensure the ratification of the Kampala Amendments by their countries and to achieve 30 ratifications before 2016. The Plan of Action also calls on parliamentarians to “individually or collectively, submit for consideration of the Nobel Peace Prize committee the results of the Kampala Review Conference and of those individuals that have relentlessly fought to proscribe the illegal use of force among nations.”
On 17 January 2013, the European Parliament adopted Resolution 2012/2850(RSP), on the 2012 EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that, among other things, calls on EU members to ratify the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression, and on Iraq to ratify the 2010 version of the Rome Statute.
The following States have accepted a recommendation to ratify the amendments on the crime of aggression in the context of the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council: Ecuador (May 2012), Burkina Faso (April 2013), and Montenegro (April 2013).
On 5 June 2013, on the basis of a motion tabled by Dr Kennedy Graham MP, member of Parliamentarians for Global Action, and of the Council of Advisers of the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression, the parliament of New Zealand unanimously called on the government to ratify the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute and to become “one of the 30 ratifying countries needed by 2017 in order to implement this amendment.”
On 20 October 2013, the Latin-American Parliament adopted resolution AO/2013/07, which recognizes the jurisdiction of the ICC over the four core crimes and encourages member states to initiate and/or follow up the process of ratification and implementation of the Kampala amendments. It also calls on all members to submit a report on the implementation of the Rome Statute and the obligations of cooperation with the International Criminal Court as well as the ratification of the Kampala amendments.
A. Adopted Domestic Legislation
On 27 February 2012, Luxembourg adopted a revision to its criminal code and code of criminal procedure that incorporate the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression.
On 14 May 2012, the revised criminal code of Slovenia entered into force. Article 103 incorporates the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression.
On October 2011, Croatia adopted the new criminal code containing the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression in Article 89. The criminal code entered into force on 1 January 2013.
On 1 January 2014, amendments to the criminal code of the Czech Republic, reflecting the Kampala amendments, will enter into force.
At a side event on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on 27 September, Uruguay announced that domestic implementation of the amendments will not be necessary, as the Amendments are immediately applicable in domestic law upon ratification.
B. Concrete Progress
In Ecuador, Peru and in Venezuela, draft criminal code bills containing the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression are under consideration at the parliamentary level.
In June 2012, in New Zealand, MP Kennedy Graham tabled a Member’s Bill to incorporate the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression in domestic law and to introduce a mechanism to ensure the legality of the use of force by New Zealand’s leaders. The bill is under ballot.
On 6 June 2013, the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic approved the text of the new criminal code, which contains the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression. The Criminal Code is now under consideration at the Senate before it final approval.
C. Commitment to domestic implementation
It is to be expected that a number of States Parties that are preparing ratification will also adopt legislation implementing the Kampala definition in domestic law, including Belgium, Botswana, Greece, Guatemala, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. In some countries, implementing legislation or possible changes to existing laws are expected to be considered after ratification, e.g. in Argentina, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Uruguay.
D. Pre-existing domestic legislation criminalizing aggression
Several States Parties, and some non-States Parties, already had domestic provisions criminalizing aggression prior to the Review Conference that may overlap with the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression. These include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia (FYROM), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Poland, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.