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…)

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, the promotion of peace through criminal justice has gained new momentum. States Parties to the ICC decided to empower the Court to hold leaders accountable who are responsible for the most serious forms of the illegal use of force against other States at the 2010 Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda.
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.

News

27 NOV 2019

Launch of new Cyber Project: On 29 and 30 October 2019, Liechtenstein together with Argentina, Belgium, Estonia, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland and the Global Institute on the Prevention of Aggression launched a new Council of Advisers on the Application of the Rome Statute to Cyberwarfare. The council was formed as a time-bound forum for States, Academics and Civil Society Members to discuss how different forms of cyber operations fit into the Rome Statute system and other international legal frameworks.

21 OCT 2019

Ecuador 39th State to ratify Kampala Amendments: On 25 September 2019, Ecuador deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments, becoming the 39th State to ratify the amendments.

15 MAY 2019

Paraguay 38th State to ratify Kampala Amendments: On 5 April 2019, Paraguay deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments, becoming the 38th State to ratify the amendments.

12 OCT 2018

Guyana 37th State to ratify Kampala Amendments: On 28 September 2018, Guyana deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments, becoming the 37th State to ratify the amendments.

05 OCT 2018

Ireland 36th State to ratify Kampala Amendments: On 27 September 2018, Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments, becoming the 36th State to ratify the amendments.

17 JUL 2018

Today is the day when the International Criminal Court can – finally – begin exercising jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. We now have, for the first time in history, a permanent international court with jurisdiction over the crime of aggression – the worst form of the illegal use of force. And indeed, the moment could not be more auspicious. The provisions on the legality of the use of force – a centerpiece of the United Nations Charter – are frequently challenged these days and at times openly ignored. The conviction that armed conflict between States was largely a phenomenon of the past has been replaced by concerns that international armed conflicts may be back on the rise. We therefore, more than ever, need a strong, independent, international Court with jurisdiction over the most serious forms of the illegal use of force.

22 DEC 2017

ICC Assembly of States Parties (ASP) decides to activate the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression: In the early morning hours of 15 December, the 123 States Parties to the Rome Statute made the historic decision to enable the ICC to prosecute the crime of aggression. This marks the first time that humanity has had a permanent international court with the authority to hold individuals accountable for their decisions to commit aggression – the worst form of the illegal use of force. The ICC will be able to exercise its jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as of 17 July 2018, which also marks the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute. The Court’s jurisdiction will be determined by the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression, which were adopted in 2010 under the ASP presidency of Liechtenstein’s UN Ambassador, Christian Wenaweser. Following the activation decision on 15 December, Ambassador Wenaweser recalled that “the Court’s jurisdiction is determined by the Rome Statute and States Parties are not only committed to the independence of the Court, but have an obligation not to infringe upon its mandate. We have expressed repeatedly our view that the Court’s jurisdiction relating to the crime of aggression is founded in articles 15 bis and 15 ter, which were adopted by consensus in Kampala. Article 15 bis paragraph 4 in particular is itself based on article 12 of the Rome Statute in which is enshrined the cardinal principle of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction.” The historic decision to activate the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression not only completes the Rome Statute as originally drafted, but also reinforces the Charter of the United Nations and will help to deter aggressive war-making in the future.

08 DEC 2017

Panama 35th State to ratify Kampala Amendments: On 6 December 2017, Panama deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments, becoming the 35th State to ratify the amendments.

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