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…)
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.
From Nuremberg to New York: Historic Opportunity to Activate ICC Jurisdiction over Crime of Aggression (VIDEO): In December 2017, the first permanent independent international criminal court in history stands on the brink of having the jurisdiction to hold national leaders accountable for the illegal use of force against other states. The 1998 Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court, an international court that has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as well as the crime of aggression. But, the States Parties to the ICC could not agree to the definition of the Crime of Aggression until 2010, when a diplomatic breakthrough in Kampala, Uganda finally produced consensus on the international legal definition of the crime.
From Nuremberg in 1945 through Tokyo, Rome, The Hague and Kampala, this film tracks the legal and moral debate more than seven decades in the making. History can be made in New York in 2017 when the States Parties of the International Criminal Court have the opportunity to activate the court’s jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression.
Argentina 34th State to ratify Kampala Amendments: On 28 April 2017, Argentina deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments, becoming the 34th State to ratify the amendments.
Portugal ratifies Kampala Amendments: On 11 April 2017, Portugal deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala amendments, becoming the 33rd State to ratify the amendments. Portugal is also the 15th NATO Member State to ratify the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression, meaning a majority of NATO Member States have now ratified the amendments.
Chile ratifies Kampala Amendments: On 23 September 2016, Chile deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala Amendments during the UN Treaty Event, which was held on the margins of this year’s UN General Debate. Chile thus became the 32nd country to ratify the Kampala Amendments, and the 5th country from the Latin American and Caribbean region to do so.
The Netherlands ratifies Kampala Amendments: On 23 September 2016, The Foreign Minister of The Netherlands, Bert Koenders, deposited his country’s instrument of ratification of the Kampala Amendments during the United Nations Treaty Event, which was held on the margins of the UN General Debate. The ratification of The Netherlands is particularly important, not only because they are the 31st State to do so, but also since The Netherlands is the host State for the International Criminal Court.
The Republic of Kenya is first State Party to lodge declaration of non-acceptance of ICC jurisdiction over the crime of aggression: Pursuant to article 15 bis (4) of the Rome Statute, a State Party can declare that it does not accept ICC jurisdiction regarding the crime of aggression by lodging a declaration with the ICC Registrar. On 30 November 2015, Kenya lodged their declaration of non-acceptance with the Registrar: https://www.icc–cpi.int/iccdocs/other/2015_NV_Kenya_Declaration_article15bis-4.pdf
The State of Palestine key 30th ICC State Party to ratify Kampala Amendments: On 26 June 2016, the State of Palestine deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala Amendments. With 30 ratifications achieved, all that is needed now is for ICC States Parties to take an activation decision on the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression in 2017. This is a historic day! We are now one step closer to a permanent system of accountability at the international level for this supreme crime.
Iceland ratifies Kampala Amendments: On 17 June 2016, Iceland deposited its instrument of ratification of the Kampala Amendments with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Its parliament had approved the ratification earlier the same month. Iceland is the 29th State Party to the Kampala Amendments. With several other domestic ratification processes complete or nearing completion, we are very close to reaching the milestone of 30 ratifications this year. Mr. Oláfur Ragnar Grímson, President of Iceland: “I am proud of being a part of this important decision for my country, which illustrates its commitment to international justice and the strong role of the Rule of Law. I would like to call on all States that have not yet done so, to continue ratifying the Kampala Amendments in order to not only reach the milestone of 30 ratifications necessary for the activation of the Amendments but also to demonstrate the respect for the territorial integrity of States and peace and security around the world. I firmly believe that my country’s step in this direction will serve as an inspiration to all the States to take the initiative and join the group of countries that are sending a strong message that the illegal use of force has no role in international relations and those who launch aggressive wars shall be held accountable.”
Photo: Ambassador of Italy to the UN, Sebastiano Cardi, Ambassador of Iceland to the UN, Einar Gunnarsson and the Chief of the UN Treaty Section Santiago Villalpando on 17 June 2016.