Status of Ratification and Implementation of the
Kampala Amendments on the Crime of Aggression
Update No. 14 (information as of 30 July 2014)
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A. Ratifications registered with the Depositary of the Rome Statute (15 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), Uruguay (26 September 2013), Belgium (26 November 2013), Croatia (20 December 2013), Slovakia (29 April 2014) and Austria (17 July 2014). Croatia, Luxembourg and Slovenia are the first countries having ratified and implemented the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression. Estonia, Germany and Slovakia 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 36 States Parties are currently actively working on the ratification of the amendments on the crime of aggression: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macedonia (FYROM), Madagascar, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Spain and Switzerland. In 9 further States Parties the process is in its early stages: Ghana, Guatemala, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Moldova, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Venezuela.
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.
In November 2012, the Government of The Netherlands submitted to Parliament the Kampala Amendments bill. On 13 March, 2014 the Kampala Amendments were discussed in a written debate in the upper house of the Dutch parliament.
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.
On 19 February the Government of Switzerland adopted the dispatch on the Kampala Amendments, with which they are to be transmitted to parliament. Switzerland took the first step towards ratification as early as 26 June 2013, by launching a public consultation procedure on the amendments. If approved, ratification could take place in early 2015.
On 21 February 2014, the ratification bill of the Kampala Amendments was approved by the Parliament of Poland. The President of the Republic of Poland is expected to sign the depositary instrument soon.
On 23-24 June and 30 June-1 July, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador held expert hearings on the ratification and implementation of the amended Rome Statute. President Funes had previously transmitted the relevant bills to the Assembly for its consideration.
The parliament of Spain is expected to conclude its examination of the Kampala Amendments on 11 August 2014, paving the way for a ratification in the third quarter of 2014.
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: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland. In addition, the following countries made positive references to the amendments: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
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 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), Bulgaria (by the end of 2014), Costa Rica (by the end of 2014), Georgia (within 2013), Germany (implementation), Netherlands (asap), 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: Chile, Ecuador, Finland, Panama, Peru, Romania, 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.”
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 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.
At the twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in The Hague on 20 and 21 November 2013, the Czech Republic stated its concrete commitment to ratify the amendments on the crime of aggression. Other States Parties made positive references to the Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression, including Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guatemala.
In its 2013 submissions regarding the Plan of Action for achieving universality and full implementation of the Rome Statute, Latvia informed that it plans to ratify and implement the Kampala amendments in 2014. Finland informed that an expert group was currently preparing the government proposal regarding ratification of the amendments, which would be presented to parliament in 2014. Senegal likewise informed of its plans to ratify the amendments.
At the 18th session of the Universal Periodic Review, Afghanistan, Chile and Dominican Republic agreed to examine recommendations to ratify the Kampala Amendments.
At the same session of the UPR, New Zealand committed to taking a formal decision on the ratification of the Kampala Amendments in the first quarter of 2014.Previously, 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 had 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.”
At a regional seminar about the Kampala amendments for Eastern European States, which took place in Slovenia on 15 and 16 May 2014, five States of the Eastern European Group (EEG) announced their intention to ratify before the end of the year (Albania, Czech Republic, Georgia, Macedonia, Poland), while the remaining nine EEG States Parties are working on the ratification process. The region continues to hold the highest percentage of States that have ratified the Crime of Aggression.
On 17 July 2014 the European Parliament adopted resolution 2014/2724(RSP), which calls on the European Union to adopt a common position on the Kampala Amendments. It also calls on EU Member States to ratify and implement the amendments and to support their activation. The EU is also encouraged to include the Kampala Amendments in its external actions, including through the provision of technical assistance.
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.
On 28 January 2014, Ecuador adopted a new Criminal Code which includes the Kampala definition of the crime of aggression in article 88. The code will enter into force on 28 August 2014.
B. Concrete Progress
In Peru and 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.
During its Universal Periodic Review in February 2014, the delegation of Macedonia mentioned that amendments to the national Criminal Code, reflecting inter alia the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression, were currently pending in parliament.
On 25 March 2014, the government of Samoa presented the International Criminal Court Amendment Bill 2014 to parliament. The Bill, which would criminalize the crimes contained in the Kampala Amendments domestically, is expected to be adopted at its third reading on 19 August 2014.
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, Samoa, 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, Samoa, 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.