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The Anatomy of an International Crime: Aggression at the International Criminal Court

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In 2010 in Kampala, Uganda, the States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted a set of amendments to the Rome Statute that define the elements and trigger mechanisms of the crime of aggression. However, significant questions remain as to what was actually agreed upon in Kampala, including with respect to the parameters of the crime itself. These questions, which include the applicability of exceptions for humanitarian intervention and anticipatory self-defence, affect not only the potential criminal responsibility of individuals charged with the crime of aggression, but also the interests of States in whether their acts are considered to amount to aggression or not. This article explores the anatomy of the crime of aggression and highlights issues that remain to be resolved.

Affiliations: 1: Legal Officer, Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), The Hague


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