Status of ratification and implementation

 Status of Ratification and Implementation of the
Kampala Amendments on the Crime of Aggression
Update No. 18 (information as of 26 June 2015)

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I. Ratification

A. Ratifications registered with the Depositary of the Rome Statute (23 States Parties)

The following States have ratified both Kampala amendments:

State Ratification Date State Ratification Date
Liechtenstein 8 May 2012 Croatia i 20 December 2013
Samoa i 25 September 2012 Slovakia p 29 April 2014
Trinidad & Tobago 13 November 2012 Austria 17 July 2014
Luxembourg i 15 January 2013 Latvia p 26 September 2014
Estonia p 27 March 2013 Spain 26 September 2014
Germany p 3 June 2013 Poland p 26 September 2014
Botswana 4 June 2013 San Marino 14 November 2014
Cyprus 25 September 2013 Georgia p 5 December 2014
Slovenia i 25 September 2013 Malta 29 January 2015
Andorra 26 September 2013 Costa Rica 5 February 2015
Uruguay 26 September 2013 Czech
Republic i
12 March 2015
Belgium 26 November 2013    

i – has implemented the Kampala Definition of the crime of aggression
p – has pre-existing domestic laws criminalizing aggression that overlap with the Kampala Amendments

B. Concrete progress

According to the information available, government or parliamentary officials in at least the following 35 States Parties are currently actively working on the ratification of the amendments on the crime of aggression: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macedonia (FYROM), Madagascar, Mongolia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Switzerland and Venezuela. In 8 further States Parties the process is in its early stages: Ghana, Guatemala, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, Republic of Korea and Tunisia.

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 13 August 2013, the Government of Paraguay sent to the Chamber of Deputies, for its consideration, the bill to ratify the Kampala Amendments.

On 23-24 June and 30 June-1 July 2014, 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.

On 4 December 2014, the government of Finland’s bill on the acceptance and implementation of the Kampala Amendments was submitted to parliament.

On 3 February 2015 Senator Alberto Airola submitted draft legislation for the ratification of the Kampala Amendments in the Senate of Italy.

On 20 March 2015, the parliament of Switzerland unanimously approved the ratification of the Kampala amendments. Ratification of the amendments is expected to take place in the autumn of 2015.

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 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, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia 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), Bulgaria (by the end of 2014), 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 and Switzerland. Other States Parties made positive references to the Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression, such as Bolivia, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Jordan and Sierra Leone.

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), Côte d’Ivoire (April 2014), Portugal (April 2014).

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, Macedonia, 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.

On 9 October 2014, the Legislative Assembly of Honduras adopted a motion requesting the government to submit a bill on the ratification of the Kampala Amendments. A government response is still outstanding.

At the 20th session of the Universal Periodic Review (27 October to 7 November 2014), Italy agreed to examine a recommendation to ratify the Kampala Amendments.

At the eight 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 Moroccan Chamber of Deputies in Rabat on 04 and 05 December 2014, 148 members of Parliament from 49 countries from all regions of the world adopted the Rabat 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.”

In response to a parliamentary question asked by Dip Garrido (member of Parliamentarians for Global Action) on 5 November 2014, the government of Argentina indicated that the Technical and Legal Secretary of the Presidency had recommended ratification of the Kampala Amendments. The bill for such a ratification would be submitted to Congress following the completion of inter-ministerial consultations.

At the thirteenth session of the ASP (December 2014), the following States Parties made concrete commitments to ratify the amendments on the crime of aggression: Albania, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Iceland, South Africa and Tanzania. In addition, the following countries made positive references to the amendments: Austria, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Uruguay as well as the European Union (in a statement delivered by Italy).

At the 22nd session of the Universal Periodic Review (4 to 15 May 2015), Bulgaria, Marshall Islands and Maldives agreed to examine recommendations to ratify the Kampala Amendments. During its presentation to the Human Rights Council, Mongolia informed that its ratification procedure is expected to be completed in 2015.

II. Implementation

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.

On 21 October 2014, the parliament of Samoa adopted its International Criminal Court Amendment Act 2014, which quotes the Kampala definition.

On 18 November 2014, following approval by the Senate, 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. It will enter into force one year after being enacted by the President.

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.

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.

C. Commitment to domestic implementation

40. 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, Costa Rica, Honduras, Madagascar, and the Netherlands. 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, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

D. Pre-existing domestic legislation criminalizing aggression

41. 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.