ICC: Conference: US and EU Disagree on the Future of the Crime of Agression

2010-06-07,  Kampala, Uganda. During the ICC Review Conference, the EU and US representatives continued to disagree on the nature of the crime of aggression. They, however, agreed that the addition of the new crime to the ICC Rome Statute should be done only by consensus.

The US State Department’s Legal Adviser, Harold Hongju Koh, stated that consensus is necessary in order to ensure that the amendment does not divide the member states, thereby weakening the Court. He wanted to ensure that states that prevent massive violations of human rights are exempt from prosecution for aggression. The US delegation also objected to the vagueness of the current definition of the crime.

Richard Howitt, the head of the European parliamentary delegation, pointed out that without this crime, jurisdiction of the ICC is incomplete and that it cannot be said that “it is legal for a government to shoot its civilians with the very weapons which would be illegal if the victims were from another state.”

An amendment to the ICC Rome Statute would define crime of aggression in Article 8bis as “the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a state, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations”.

RNW | AllAfrica |

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