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The Rome Statute's Amendment on the Crime of Aggression: Negotiations at the Kampala Review Conference

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This past June, in Kampala, Uganda, at the first Review Conference on the International Criminal Court, States Parties forged an historic agreement, amending the Rome Statute to define the crime of aggression, and agreeing on conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction. While the definition had been essentially agreed upon during years of earlier negotiations, delegations in Kampala had to grapple with a host of complex issues related to the exercise of jurisdiction. They resolved that jurisdiction will be triggered both through Security Council referrals, as well as State Party or Prosecutor referrals, and the related "filter" mechanisms to achieve this. This result represented a significant breakthrough that was pragmatic, designed to avoided potential conflict with the U.N. Charter, and designed to protect the Court's independence. The final agreement, however, also contained compromises, excluding the acts of Non-States Parties from jurisdiction, allowing States Parties to opt out of jurisdiction, and delaying the exercise of jurisdiction until at least 2017.

Affiliations: 1: Center for Global Affairs, N.Y.U., New York, USA


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