Liechtenstein Becomes First State to Ratify Crime of Aggression
Ambassador Christian Wenaweser (left), permanent representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations,
with Benjamin Ferencz (right), former Nuremberg prosecutor.
Today, 8 May 2012, Liechtenstein became the first state party to the Rome Statute—the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC)—to ratify the crime of aggression. This crime is one of two new crimes added to the Statute following the 2010 Kampala Review Conference. It seeks to criminalize the use of armed force by one state against another and in violation of the United Nations (UN) Charter.
The second new crime, which prohibits the use of certain weapons in a non-international armed conflict, was also ratified by Lichtenstein today. San Marino was the first to ratify this crime on 26 September 2011.
Read the Liechtenstein press release
The crime of aggression
At the Review Conference, which took place from 31 May to 11 June 2010 in Kampala, Uganda, ICC states parties adopted provisions governing the terms of the Court's ability to investigate and prosecute individuals for the crime of aggression (article 8bis). States agreed upon a jurisdictional regime for the crime of aggression, which provides separate procedures depending on whether the situation was referred by the UN Security Council, or whether it came before the ICC through a state referral or upon the ICC prosecutor's initiative. The Review Conference determined that the activation of jurisdiction is still subject to a positive decision by the Assembly of States Parties—the Court’s governing body—which cannot be taken before 1 January 2017 and one year after the ratification or acceptance of the amendments by 30 states parties, whichever is later. Read more.
Article 8 of the Rome Statute
The amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute (or "Belgian proposal") extends the use of certain weapons as war crimes in non-international conflicts, namely the use of poison, poisoned weapons, asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and all analogous liquids, materials or devices as well as the use of bullets that expand or flatten in the body. Read more.
Together for Justice.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For more information, visit: www.coalitionfortheicc.org