The Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression was established in 2010 as a project of The Planethood Foundation, a small private foundation founded in 1996 by Benjamin Ferencz, a former Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials and a lifelong advocate of the rule of law in international affairs, and his son, Donald Ferencz, an attorney and international justice educator and advocate. The Institute was convened as a cooperative network of interested parties to help further dialogue and information-sharing specifically aimed at advancing the goal of criminalizing the illegal use of force. The Institute is actively working to increase its effectiveness by partnering and leveraging on a formal basis with other institutions. It benefits from the advice of its Council of Advisers, comprised of scholars, diplomats, and non-governmental advocates who share a commitment to outlawing the illegal use of force in international affairs, in the hope that criminalization of acts constituting the illegal use of armed force will deter such illegal acts.
The work of the Global Institute is informed by an Executive Council and a Council of Advisers, which are composed of leading figures in the field of international criminal law in general, and the crime of aggression in particular.
Benjamin Ferencz, PRESIDENT EMERITUS
J.D. Harvard, 1943; Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Einsatzgruppen trial; Director of programs to compensate Holocaust victims; author of books, articles and lectures on behalf of world peace and humanity.
“As long as aggression remains immune from punishment by the ICC, we must strive for recognition that the illegal use of armed force, that inevitably kills large number of civilians, is a punishable Crime against Humanity domestically and internationally.”
The members of the Executive Council are:
Mrs. Fatou Bensouda served as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (2012-2021). She is the first woman to serve as the Prosecutor of the ICC. Between 1987 and 2000, Mrs. Bensouda was successively State Counsel, Senior State Counsel, Principal State Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of the Republic, and Attorney General and Minister of Justice of The Republic of The Gambia. Her international career as a non-government civil servant formally began at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where she worked as a Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney before rising to the position of Senior Legal Advisor and Head of the Legal Advisory Unit (2002 to 2004), after which she joined the ICC as the Court’s first Deputy Prosecutor.
Former Judge of Appeal in Sweden; Former Chief Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Justice (1981-1984) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (1984-1994); Former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations (1994-2004); Honorary Chair for the World Justice Project.
Richard J. Goldstone was a judge in South Africa for 23 years, the last nine as a Justice of the Constitutional Court. Since retiring from the bench he has taught as a visiting professor in a number of United States and European Law Schools. He recently chaired the Independent Expert Review Group established in December 2019 by the Assembly of States Parties to review the International Criminal Court and Rome Statue system. From August 1994 to September 1996 he was the chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations; former President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (2008-2011); President of the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in Kampala.
The Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression is led by:
Jennifer Trahan, CONVENOR, Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression
Clinical Professor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and director of the Concentration in International Law and Human Rights. Trahan has published scores of law review articles and book chapters including on the International Criminal Court’s crime of aggression, as well as the book, “Legal Limits to Security Council Veto Power in the Face of Atrocity Crimes” (Cambridge University Press 2020). She serves as one of the US representatives to the Use of Force Committee of the International Law Association and holds various positions with the American Branch of the International Law Association. She additionally served as an amicus curiae to the International Criminal Court on the appeal of the situation regarding Afghanistan and served on the Council of Advisers on the Application of the Rome Statute to Cyberwarfare.
German lawyer, maître en droit (Paris II), LL.M. (University of Amsterdam/Columbia University); previously research assistant of Prof. Dr. Florian Jeßberger; has written her PhD thesis on the domestic implementation of the crime of aggression; NGO delegate to the Assembly of States Parties in 2017 and 2019; Fulbright visiting scholar at Columbia Law School in 2018; visiting PhD student at Lauterpacht Centre for International Law in 2021.
The members of the Council of Advisers are:
Professor of Public International Law (Oxford University), Co-Director, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict; previously Lectuer in Law (University of Nottingham 1998-2000 and University of Durham 2000-2004); has acted as Consultant for the African Union on the ICC; extensive publications on international criminal law and the ICC.
Legal Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations; has worked on the front line of issues shaping international law, including Liechtenstein‘s successful efforts to establish the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria, activate the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, and convene a group of experts to elaborate how the Rome Statute applies to cyberwarfare.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; previously Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations; first President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (2002-2005); Chairman of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression at the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in Kampala (June 2010).
Kjell Anderson is the Director of the Master of Human Rights program, as well as an assistant professor of law at the University of Manitoba. He is the co-editor, with Erin Jessee, of Researching Perpetrators of Genocide (University of Wisconsin Press 2020), and the author of Perpetrating Genocide: A Criminological Account (Routledge 2018), as well as numerous scholarly articles on genocide, mass atrocities, international criminal law, and transitional justice. He has held academic posts at the University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, the National University of Ireland, the University of the Fraser Valley, and the National University of Rwanda, and positions in human rights NGOs, think tanks, and international organizations. He is the former vice president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention.
Independent member of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (in charge of monitoring compliance of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein with the EEA Agreement); Formerly Deputy Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations; served as principal legal adviser to chief negotiators on the crime of aggression from 2003 until the 2010 Review Conference at which the amendments were adopted.
Professor of Law (Chapman University); leading authority on the use of American and European courts to redress genocide and other historical wrongs.
Jutta F. Bertram-Nothnagel
Vice President, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy; Representative to the United Nations and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms; Former Director of Relations with Intergovernmental Organizations, Union Internationale des Avocats; headed CICC Team on the Crime of Aggression (2001-2010) and CICC Team on General Principles for the International Criminal Court (at the Rome Conference).
Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action; Adjunct Professor of International Law at Center for Global Affairs’ NYU; worked on the ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute and its amendments in more than 100 States (1999 to present); headed the NGOs’ team on the trial, appeals and review at the Rome Diplomatic Conference on the ICC (1998) and drafted in 1996-97 the non-paper that constituted the basis for the inclusion of victims’ participation in the ICC proceedings (which resulted in Art. 68.3, Rome Statute). He produced several commentaries, essays and contributions on critical topics of International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and co-authored the volume “International Law and the Protection of Humanity” (Brill, 2017).
Professor of International Law, specializing in Human Rights, Humanitarian, & International Criminal Law, with faculty appointments at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, American University Washington College of Law, and the University of London. Prior faculty appointments have included the Paul Martin Senior Professorship in International Affairs & Law at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, Visiting Chair in Public International Law at Lund University Faculty of Law, and Director of the Center for International Law & Policy at the New England School of Law, where he was awarded tenure and promoted to full professor in 2009. He has been awarded fellowships at the Nobel Institute (Oslo), the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg), and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (Lund). He has been a visiting scholar at the International Criminal Court, and a Fulbright scholar at both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He is an elected member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL) and has served on a number of expert groups for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Board of Governors Professor of Law Emeritus (Rutgers University); represented Samoa in negotiations to create the International Criminal Court and in the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression; former member of the United Nations Committee on Crime Prevention and Control.
David M. Crane
Retired Professor of Law, now Distinguished Scholar in Residence (Syracuse University); retired member of the Senior Executive Service of the United States; former UN Under-Secretary-General and founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002-2005). Founder, Global Accountability Network.
Former Convenor of the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression; Research Associate at the Oxford University Faculty of Law’s Centre for Criminology.
Gregory S. Gordon
Professor of Law and Former Associate Dean (The Chinese University of Hong Kong); previously Senior Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of Special Investigations; Legal Officer and Deputy Team Leader in the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Christopher “Kip” Hale
Christopher “Kip” Hale is currently a lead lawyer for a non-governmental organization doing criminal investigation of atrocity crimes. Previously, Kip served as senior counsel of American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C., and was the founding director of the ABA’s International Criminal Court Project. Prior to this post, he was a prosecuting attorney in the Office of the Co-Prosecutors at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), and has done legal defense work and advised Judges at the UN-International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, The Netherlands. Kip serves as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and on the Advisory Council of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative. He has written on international criminal justice issues widely and has been published in numerous distinguished outlets.
Board member of the Nuremberg Human Rights Centre (NMRZ) and former vice-president of the board of the German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR); ex-member (2011-2019) of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances. Lecturer on Transitional Justice at the Human Rights Master Program, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Professor of Criminal Law and Public International Law; Director of the Institute for International Peace and Security Law, University of Cologne; Member of Germany’s delegation in the negotiations on the ICC since 1998; Sub-coordinator within the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression; Special Adviser to the Prosecutor of the ICC for the Crime of Aggression since 2021.
Lawyer qualified in Spain and member of the Madrid Bar association; vice-president, Equipo Nizkor, an international organization which provides cutting-edge legal casework through direct intervention and legal counseling in landmark cases that cross the human rights and civil liberties spectrum to bring international human rights law into national domestic law practice.
Retired Solicitor; represented UK Coalition for the ICC at the Kampala Review Conference; represented peace activist defendants in leading House of Lords case on Aggression in English law (R v. Jones); assisted in the creation of UK branch of the World Court Project campaigning for the 1996 ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Threat & Use of Nuclear Weapons; established the NGO Institute for Law, Accountability & Peace (INLAP).
Hope Elizabeth May
Attorney, Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Center for Professional and Personal Ethics (Central Michigan University); member, Board of Directors, International Criminal Court Student Network; previously visiting professional, Office of the Prosecutor, ICC; NGO delegate, Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, 2011 and 2012; has developed a unique course focused on the International Criminal Court that is offered to U.S. undergraduates every summer in The Hague.
“There are many fine words written by others which, sadly, go unnoticed because we keep adding to the store-house of said things. So let me use this space to draw attention to the words of Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), who labored (alongside many others in the United States in the late 1800s) to establish the foundations of international justice which he said must rest on principles which establish ‘the security of nations and the welfare of the people’:
“In whatever position we are placed, we are to remember that this world cannot come to its bearings, does not understand the use of the science it has been creating in the last century, unless it finds out that the human race is but one individual, and that we are so many separate leaves and twigs on the bough of a the tree, each of us having a contribution which he is to render for the good of all. Each for all, all for each.”
Professor of International Law (University of Tasmania); Special Adviser on War Crimes to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; from 2011-2013 international observer to Phase II of the Turkel Commission of Enquiry into Israel’s Mechanisms for Investigating Alleged Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict, Jerusalem; from 2003-2007 expert Law of War adviser for the Defence of David Hicks before US Military Commission, Guantánamo Bay; from 2002-2006 amicus curiae on international law matters to the judges of Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague for the trial of Slobodan Milošević.
Carrie McDougall (@IntLawCarrie) teaches and researches international law at the University of Melbourne, specialising in the jus ad bellum, international criminal law and international humanitarian law. She re-joined Melbourne Law School after nearly a decade working for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), where she served first as Legal Specialist and Assistant Director of the International Law Section in Canberra and then as Legal Adviser at Australia’s Mission to the United Nations in New York. Prior to these roles she was a Research Fellow and lecturer at the University of Melbourne and a commercial litigator at a major Australian law firm. Carrie was heavily involved in the negotiation of the crime of aggression (the subject of her PhD), primarily as a member of the Australian delegation. She is the author of The Crime of Aggression under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2021), and various other works on the subject.
Professor of Law (Vanderbilt University); on the executive council of the American Society of International Law (ASIL); senior advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the U.S. State Department; previously served on its Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward the International Criminal Court and on an experts group in support of the Task Force on Genocide Prevention; as member of the US delegation, helped to achieve consensus on the Elements of Crimes of the ICC; U.S. representative on the U.N. Planning Mission for the Sierra Leone Special Court and advisor to the Iraqi High Tribunal.
Judge, Special Tribunal for Lebanon (Appeals Chamber); previously Judge, International Criminal Court (Appeals Chamber); served as Professor of Law, University of Botswana; served on the Uganda Government delegation to meetings of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression; published extensively on international law, international criminal law, human rights and humanitarian law.
William R. Pace
Convener of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC); Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP); founding member of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect; previously Secretary-General of the Hague Appeal for Peace, Director of the Center for the Development of International Law, and Director of Section Relations of the Concerts for Human Rights Foundation at Amnesty International.
Astrid Reisinger Coracini
Executive Director, Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law; member of the Austrian delegation at the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; participated in sessions of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression; participated in sessions of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court.
Special Assistant to the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute; previously Deputy-Director, International Law and Human Rights Programme at Parliamentarians for Global Action; Ph.D in international Law (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement, Geneva) on the Relationship between the ICC and Security Council; M.A. in Law and Diplomacy (The Fletcher School, Tufts University); B.A in International Relations (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico).
Leila Nadya Sadat
Professor of Law (public international law, international criminal law and human rights) and Director, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute (Washington University); Special Adviser to the ICC Prosecutor on Crimes Against Humanity; Director of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative; one of the world’s leading experts on the International Criminal Court; award-winning and prolific scholar.
Professor of Law, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru); Doctorate in law (University of Seville, Spain); author of several publications on Public International Law, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law and Transitional Justice; former consultant to Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defense, Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Sergey Sayapin, LLB, LLM, Dr. iur., PhD, is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Law, KIMEP University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). In 2000 – 2014, he held a number of posts at the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Central Asia. His current research focuses on Central Asian and post-Soviet approaches to international law, international conflict and security law, human rights, and sociology of law. Dr. Sayapin regularly advises the Central Asian Governments as well as UNODC and the ICRC on international and criminal law. He is sub-editor for Central Asia of the Encyclopedia of Public International Law in Asia (Brill, 2021).
William A. Schabas
Professor of International Law (Middlesex University Law School); Professor of International Criminal Law and Human Rights (Leiden University); editor-in-chief of the journal Criminal Law Forum; Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights from 2000 to 2011; Member of Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2002-2004.
Since 2013, Michael Scharf has been the Co-Dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is a Chaired Professor who has authored over 100 articles and 20 books, including four that have won national book of the year honors. During the elder Bush and Clinton Administrations, Scharf served as Attorney Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State. Scharf and the Public International Law and Policy Group, a Non-Governmental Organization he co-founded 25 years ago, were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Prosecutor of an International Criminal Tribunal for the work they have done to help in the prosecution of major war criminals. He has served as Special Assistant to the International Prosecutor of the Cambodia Genocide Tribunal and has argued as Amicus counsel before the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court. Since 2011, Scharf has produced and hosted the radio program “Talking Foreign Policy,” broadcast quarterly on Cleveland’s NPR station, WCPN 90.3 FM. Scharf is the President Elect of the American Branch of the International Law Association, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.
David J. Scheffer
Professor of Law & Director of the Center for International Human Rights (Northwestern University); U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials; previously first Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the U.S. State Department.
Kenneth Bailey Chair of Law (University of Melbourne); Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law; Soros Academic Fellow; Visiting Professor of Public Policy (London School of Economics); previously held a chair at London School of Economics.
Former substitute Professor of international humanitarian law and Co-director, International Clinic for the Defense of Human Rights (University of Quebec at Montreal); member of the group of experts on the crime of aggression for the Coalition on the International Criminal Court (2002-2010); has published and lectured extensively on the crime of aggression, the use of force and international criminal law.
Manuel J. Ventura
Director of the Peace and Justice Initiative; formerly Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; law clerk/legal intern to President Antonio Cassese, Special Tribunal for Lebanon and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Constitutional Court of South Africa; previously teaching assistant in international relations/international law (University of New South Wales, Macquarie University); various publications in the field of international criminal law and justice.
Noah Weisbord is an Associate Professor at Queen’s Law. His research focuses on the role of the criminal law in managing, reflecting or exacerbating intergroup conflict. A current project examines self-defence in Canadian criminal law from historical, comparative, and conceptual perspectives. Noah is a leading expert on the crime of aggression and served on the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression. His monograph on the crime of aggression was published with Princeton University Press in June 2019.
Noah’s scholarly articles have appeared in the Harvard International Law Journal, the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, Law and Contemporary Problems and other publications. Noah’s opinion and editorial commentary has been published in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Globe and Mail and the National Post.
Noah received his S.J.D. from Harvard Law School under the supervision of Dean Martha Minow. In addition to an S.J.D., Noah holds LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees, a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) as well as undergraduate degrees in Psychology (B.Sc.) and Social Work (B.S.W.) from McGill University. Prior to joining Queen’s Law, Noah was an Associate Professor at Florida International University College of Law and a visiting Assistant Professor at Duke Law School.
Professor of public international law (Stockholm University); Director, Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice; represented Sweden in the Preparatory Commission for the ICC, at the Assembly of States Parties (2000-2007) and at the Review Conference in Kampala; former principal legal advisor at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs; former political advisor to the European Union’s Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region; published widely on international law, international relations and theory and has consulted on international criminal justice and peace-building; currently writing on just war doctrine and the use of force by non-state actors.
M. Cherif Bassiouni (1937-2017)
M. Cherif Bassiouni was an Emeritus Professor of Law at DePaul University, where he taught from 1964 – 2012. He was involved in leadership positions in numerous UN Commissions and humanitarian law and international justice related projects, including serving as the Vice-Chairman of the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc and Preparatory Committees on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (ICC) and as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court in 1998. He published extensively and has been universally recognized as one of the world’s leading experts and advocates in the field of international law and human rights.
Hans-Peter Kaul (1943-2014)
Judge of the International Criminal Court (2003-2014); Second Vice-President of the Court (2009-2012); President of the Pre-Trial Division (2004-2009); former diplomat (Head of German delegation and chief negotiator in the process leading to the establishment of the ICC); published extensively on the topic of public international law, especially international criminal law and the crime of aggression.
As head of the German delegation at the Rome Conference, Judge Kaul played an instrumental role in ensuring the adoption of the Rome Statute, in safeguarding the judicial independence of the Court, and in securing the inclusion of the crime of aggression on the list of crimes over which the Court has jurisdiction. Among the first judges elected to serve on the bench of the ICC, Hans-Peter contributed to the formation of the Court’s jurisprudence and was instrumental in setting up the Court’s institutions. He also remained a tireless advocate for activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. Hans-Peter never wavered in his commitment and always persevered in his fight for the cause in which he so strongly believed. His leadership will remain exemplary.
“After a long professional life as a diplomat, international lawyer, and, since 2003, as a Judge of the International Criminal Court, it is my experience and my firm conviction that aggressive war-making, the “supreme international crime” according to the Nuremberg Judgement, and the use of unjustified armed force inevitably lead, time and again, to mass atrocities. I strongly believe that there can be no successful prevention of war crimes and crimes against humanity without the effective criminalisation and prosecution of aggressive war-making.”
Jackson Maogoto (1975 -2020)
Jackson Maogoto was a Senior lecturer in International Law (University of Manchester, UK) with expertise in international criminal law, international humanitarian and human rights law, use of force/peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.
“The ability of international law to discipline sovereign excesses is an important fulcrum for humanity in an age of ever increasing means and methods of executing war. Aggression by statal and non-statal entities remains the main cauldron for the diminution of humanity’s quest for peace and security and the crucible for debasement of human rights. The efforts and dedication of individuals and entities committed to eradication of war as part of international relations remain paramount for a world wearied by violence and committed to the ideals of peaceful co-existence.”