Crime of aggression could be charged from 2018

Crime of aggression could be charged from 2018

Courtroom of the ICC. Image: icc

Attack wars are a case for the international criminal court – some in any case

Largely unnoticed by the german publicity, the volkerrecht has made a significant step: attack wars are a pleasant case for the international criminal court (ISTHH). From the 17. July 2018, the court in the hague can dust the jurisdiction in the case of attacking wars. The corresponding resolution was adopted at the conference of the contracting states of the rome statute, the basis for the criminal court, in the UN headquarters in new york by consensus.

Thus, the so-called activation clause intervenes: in accordance with article 5 (2) of the rome statute, the court UBT UBT the jurisdiction on the crime of aggression, as soon as "the crime defines and determines the conditions for the export of jurisdiction with regard to this crime" is. That’s officially done now.

What is aggression?

An agreement of the war, which wars could land as an attack wars in court, had already been found on the first revision conference of the ICGH statute in the ugandal capital kampala in 2010 ("preparation of an attack war" was in "crime of aggression" converted). Aggression is therefore:

In the sense of this statute means "crime of aggression" the planning, preparation, initiation or execution of an attacking action, which is their kind, its seriousness, and its scope for an obvious violation of the united nations charter, by a person who is indeed capable of increasing the political or military action of a state check or direct.


The use of weapons violence against another state, whose sovereignty as well as political and territorial independence is therefore as "tackle" to watch. In particular, invasion, occupation and annexation of other areas of other states. Bombing, blockade of harbor and attacks on dispute as well as the sending of armed gangs or irregular force is also prohibited.

Was controversial, which states of jurisdiction is subject: only those who joined the criminal court – or all. At present, 123 states have joined the ROM statute (at 193 UN member states). 31 states are not members because they did not ratify the statute. Of these, four have drawn their signature and communicated to ratify the contract: israel and sudan and the two worlds of USA and russia. Among the UN members who have not signed the rome statute are china and india as well as many countries of the middle east. If the criminal court is not stateful in all non-members, attack wars in large parts of the world were legally unimaginable.

Controversial was also what the role of the UN security council is to play: above all standing members of the UN security council rooted that the criminal court should only be tentative when the supreme united panel agrees. The opposite position was of course that the court should work free of political power differences.

Strong role of the security council

In kampala, one agreed to a compromise: according to this, the role of the security council is initiated, as far as the admission of procedures and its suspension are concerned. Wants to investigate the prosecution, "he first made sure that the security council has found that the state concerned has committed an attacking action". Investigations can only begin the prosecution if "the security council made a corresponding statement" has.

If the security council does not meet this statement for six months, the prosecution can also investigate itself. But that too is only possible if "the security council did not have a different decision under article 16". There is determined that the security council "resolution adopted according to chapter VII of the charter of united nations" certainly that if months, no investigation and prosecutions take place. This request can be demonstrated by resolution.

Chapter VII is the hardest chapter of the UN charter: according to this, the security council can detect a threat for world peace and authorize the use of coatings. Salopp said: on the questions of war and peace, the security council can switch off the criminal court according to the agreement of kampala.

Condly only for members

Further, in kampala, it was also agreed that non-contracting states are not subject to jurisdiction. But also members of the rome statute can be optionally (per "opt-out") back. Before an attacking action, the contracting state must only "by depositing an explanation at the chancellor" announce, "that he does not recognize this jurisdiction".

The restrictions for the criminal court are therefore tremendous. Therefore, you can hardly kill "in the course of the week international criminal proceedings for attacking goals" expect the volkerrechtler claus kreb in germany. Nevertheless, the negotiations had shown that the prere also waxes on non-contracting states: all hours by the new regulation under a very different justification forecast.

Disclaimer humanitar intervention

But there is another problem: the fact of the aggression itself has been deliberately provided with restrictions. Attack wars are only punishable if you – see above – "their kind, their heavy and extent to an obvious violation of the charter of the united nations" are. Claus kreb, professor for volkerrecht at the university koln, spoke in the FAZ of a one "carefully formulated threshold clause".

Kreb himself was involved in the negotiations in kampala as members of the german delegation. Just to take on a serious trap of aggression, the attempt had been to involve the USA, kreb said against the "mirrors": "the german delegation also had the task of making peace with the USA." this conversation may be politically necessary, but is quite more popular in the consequence: neither the NATO war against yugoslavia 1999 nor the US war in iraq 2003 were therefore a case for the criminal court: "only clearly non-marketing severe state acts of violence should be punished as crimes", explained kreb.

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