The chequered history of the criminalisation of aggression as a crime under international law has reached an important milestone with the adoption of the Kampala Resolution on the Crime of Aggression (2010). This resolution provides for the definition of the crime of aggression to be included in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as well as for conditions for the exercise of ICC jurisdiction over the crime.
The second edition of this volume contains an overview and discussion of the historical and normative processes (legal and political) that culminated in the adoption of the Kampala Resolution. The different components of the resolution are critically assessed against the background of the various political and legal responses to aggression, while taking into account contemporary developments in the field of international criminal law.
The volume is primarily but not exclusively concerned with the crime of aggression under the Rome Statute. It also includes a chapter on national and regional criminal justice responses to aggression, notably developments concerning the amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, which also provides for the criminalisation of aggression.
About the first edition
‘A successful attempt to provide a working definition of the crime of aggression and the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction by the ICC thereon. At the same time, it purports to trace the historical development of the norm of aggression and analyse the problematic issues concerning its definition. Using accessible style and language, the author correctly grasps the need for a two-sided approach to aggression, from the point of view of states, as well as of individual criminal responsibility, and touches upon the critical issue of the connection between maintenance of international peace and security and international criminal justice. […]the book provides a thorough and concise analysis of the elements of aggression, one of the most controversial crimes in international criminal law and pinpoints its place in the complex scheme of interplay between collective security and international criminal justice. […] the value of the present title lies in its contribution to the ongoing debate on the interrelation between state and individual responsibility for international crimes – a debate that seems far from being settled.’
Irena Giorgou in 2012 JICJ 712
The time that criminal law was pre-eminently a national matter is gone. Criminal law and criminal procedure is no longer solely a product of decisions made by national legislative bodies, applied by national police, prosecutors and judges. A new criminal law is developing which goes beyond separate nations: supranational criminal law.
One example of this development is the relatively young body of law concerning war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Particularly essential to this development has been the establishment of the ICTY, the ICTR and the ICC, and of many internationalised tribunals all over the world. A second example of the development towards the supranationalisation of criminal law can be seen on a more regional level. In Europe for instance, the area of criminal law has become a prioritised field of co-operation in the third pillar of the European Union. These supranational criminal systems are criminal systems sui generis.
That at least is the presupposition of this series on supranational criminal law. The Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta series contributes to this discussion from a theoretical, dogmatic point of view, working towards new, consistent and fair penal systems, crossing the borders of the old law families and traditions.
The series is edited by Dr. Roelof H. Haveman (editor-in-chief - Rule of Law Advisor, embassy of the Netherlands in Mali), Dr. Paul J.A. De Hert (Free University of Brussels, Belgium and University of Tilburg, the Netherlands) and Dr. Alette Smeulers (University of Groningen, the Netherlands).
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