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

Through the United Nations Charter, States 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 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, States Parties 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. This website is dedicated to making accountability a reality.

The Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression (GIPA) informs about the current delevopments related to the crime of aggression:

News

01 MAY 2024

Seminar on Strengthening the Court’s Jurisdiction for the Crime of Aggression: On 23 April 2024, a seminar was convened at the German Embassy in The Hague focusing on enhancing the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. Five members of the GIPA were invited to speak, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, Claus Kreß, Astrid Reisinger Coracini, Matthew Gillett and GIPA’s convenor Jennifer Trahan. The discussions explored various options for amending the Kampala Amendments and strategies for engaging global partners on the issue of the crime of aggression. 

30 APR 2024

Council of Europe Seminar on the Special Tribunal: A seminar on “The Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine: What Role for Regional Organisations such as the Council of Europe?” was held on 10 April 2024 in Strasbourg on the margins of the 66th meeting of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI). This reflects the current focus of the discussions on using a regional organisation like the Council of Europe to ensure accountability for the fundamental assault by the Russian leadership in the situation in Ukraine. Three members of GIPA’s Council of Advisers spoke at the meeting: Claus Kreß (keynote), Dapo Akande and Astrid Reisinger Coracini.

11 MAR 2024

In memoriam of Ben Ferencz: Our co-founder and one of the most dedicated advocates of the rule of law, especially the crime of aggression, would have turned 104 years old today. We miss him immensely and we are looking forward to celebrating his legacy in Nuremberg and The Hague this year.

 

09 FEB 2024

Conference “Addressing cyber-related crimes under the Rome Statute system”: Professor Jennifer Trahan, Convenor of The Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression, was honored to present the findings of the Council of Advisers’ Report on the Application of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to Cyberwarfare” at the International Criminal Court on January 22, 2024. The conference where she spoke was entitled “Addressing cyber-related crimes under the Rome Statute system” and co-sponsored by the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor and Microsoft (See ICC OTP Press release).

The meetings of the Council of Advisers that led into the drafting of the report occurred in 2019-2020, while Don Ferencz was Convenor of GIPA. The meetings on which the report is based were hosted by the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the UN, and co-organized by 10 other UN missions. The full report, drafted under the supervision of Liechtenstein legal adviser Sina Alavi, can be found here.

The report makes the case that each of the Rome Statute’s four crimes can be committed partly or fully through cyber, a position now endorsed by the ICC Prosecutor. The report is anticipated to play a role in the formation of the ICC’s future policy paper on the Rome Statute and cyber.

15 DEC 2023
Aggression-related side events at the ICC Assembly of States Parties: On 7 December 2023, the Permanent Missions of Guatemala, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, and Ukraine to the UN sponsored a panel “Accountability for the Crime of Aggression: Current Developments and Future Responses.” 
On 8 December 2023, the  Permanent Missions of Costa Rica, Estonia, Germany, Liechtenstein and Vanuatu to the UN sponsored the panel “The ICC and the Crime of Aggression: Harmonizing Jurisdiction and Promoting Universality”. Both panels were side-event to meetings of the International Criminal Court’s Assembly of States Parties. 
05 DEC 2023

Ukraine’s statement at the Sixth Committee: At the UN General Assembly in October 2023, Ukraine called on the International Law Commission to confirm the inapplicability of functional immunity in proceedings for crimes under international law, without exception and hence encompassing the crime of aggression in order to avoid a serious inconsistency in the treatment of crimes under international law and in order to confirm the principle of accountability for all crimes under international law.

For the full statement, see here.

20 NOV 2023

Conference Towards accountability for the crime of aggression committed against Ukraine”: organized by Prof. Pavel Šturma and Dr. Milan Lipovský, gathered scholars, practitioners, state representatives and civil society members to discuss the various proposed forms of mechanism to assess individual criminal responsibility for the crime of aggression committed against Ukraine.

The conference took place on 10-11 November 2023 within the premises of the Faculty of Law of the Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic) under the auspices of the Human Rights Research Centre – UNCE and provided grounds among others to debate the interrelated aspects connected to the creation of the mechanism, including the issue of immunities from criminal jurisdiction, competences of intergovernmental organizations and procedural matters.

 

29 OCT 2023

Liechtenstein’s statement at the Sixth Committee: The GIPA welcomes the clear language of Liechtenstein when commenting on the work of the International Law Commission at the UN General Assembly on 23 October 2023. Liechtenstein does not understand why draft article 7 of the ILC’s work on “Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” leaves out the crime of aggression. In Liechtenstein’s position, “the crime of aggression should have been included” in the list of crimes in respect of which functional immunity does not apply, “especially given it is a leadership crime which requires us to overcome immunities to ensure meaningful accountability and its future prevention.”

For the full statement, see here.

← Older Entries