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Crimes Against Peace and Aggression

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Essay Question

Based on the maxim in international criminal law of ‘nullum crimen, nulla poena sina lege’, critically analyze the controversies and the problems in defining and legalizing aggression as a crime in international law?

Problem Statement 

The Crime of Aggression (crime against peace)“ individual responsibility for the illegal wars “ is one of the four core international crimes included in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, under Article 5 (2) the Court may not exercise that jurisdiction until a provision is adopted. Members of the state of the ICC as well as General assemble Security Council have so far failed in defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime; and no individual has ever been charged for this supreme international crime since the Nuremberg and Far East Military Tribunals.

Crimes Against Peace and Aggression

Introduction

The crime of aggression, formerly recognised as the crime against peace, is particularly difficult to describe since it is connected to a variety of unresolved historical controversies in the area of international law, such as :

  1. the distinction between a just and an unjust war.
  2. Distinguishing aggression and right of self-defence in the international law of the use of force
  3. Legal consequences of aggression: a) state responsibility for acts of aggression and b) the possibility of holding individuals criminally responsible for collective acts of political violence.

The intention of this essay is to address comprehensively the controversies surrounding the above points. The paper is divided in two Parts.

Part I

1. Historical Evolution– Crimes against peace to crime of aggression

From the beginning, the term aggression is an intention of States to outbreak war situation. Aggression differentiates from war as the war occurs with intention. Donald Ferencz named it the War of State Doctrine, a loophole that make states permissible to get involved in violent activities without being liable to the International Community.[1]

When First World War erupted, unprovoked acts for war were given attention for the first time. With the advent of League of Nations in 1919, aggression got recognised as a legal concept but its explanation was not lucid. The Covenant of League of Nations gave a definition of aggression as “an attack against the territorial integrity and political independence of member states”.[2]

Bibliography;
  • 7 Videos about the symposium a Q & A discussion by top commentators, Retrieved at: <http://uc.princeton.edu/main/index.php/component/content/article/4550>
  • Brownlie Ian (1991). International Law and the Use of Force by States, Oxford: Clarendon Press. p.43,200,203,361
  • Owen Robert Lathem (1919). The Covenant of the League of Nations. What it proposes and what it does not propose, Kessinger Publishing. Reprinted 2010, p.9 (Article 10)
  • Heyman Neil M. (1997). World War I Greenwood Press p.167 (Discussing in detail the life of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his role in WWI).
  • Krieken Peter J. Van & Mckay David (2005). The Hague- Legal Capital of the World, T.M.C. Asser Press, p.14
  • Werle Gerhard (2007). The Crime of Aggression between International and Domestic Criminal Law. Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, pp.5 ( Presentation at the XVth International Congress on Social Defence: Criminal Law between War and Peace: Justice and Cooperation in Military Matters in International Military Interventions, Toledo, Spain)
  • The International Criminal Court and The Crime of Aggression (1995). Nordic Journal of International Law, Kluwer Academic Publishers,Netherlands. Vol. 64, pp. 224
  • Roger S. Clark (2007). Nuremberg and the Crime Against Peace, 6 Wash. U. Global Studies L. Rev. p.527-28
  • Bassiouni M. Cheriff (1996). Crime Against Humanity in International Criminal Law, 2nd Edition. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.549
  • Ferencz B Benjamen(1999). Can Aggression be Deterred by Law. Pace International Law Review. pp.345
  • Schabas W.A. (1997) Sentencing by international tribunals: a human rights approach. Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, Vol.7, Issue 2, pp.487 [7 Duke J. of Comp. & Int’l L. 46]
  • Schabas W.A.(1999).The Crime of Torture and the International Criminal Tribunals pp.351 CASE W. RES. J. INT’L L. [Vol. 37:349]
  • Judgment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, 1 Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal 171 1 (1947).
  • International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Tokyo Trials, 1948, 15 ANN. DIG. & REP. OF PUB. INT’L Law Cases 356, 373.
  • Noah Weisbord (2008), Prosecuting Aggression, Harvard International Law Journal, Vol.49, No.1, pp. 165 [49 Harv. Int’l L.J. 161 (2008)]
  • Henkin et al.(1993).Cases and Materials on International Law 3rd ed., p.868
  • Cassese Antonio(2007) On Some Problematical Aspects of the Crime of Aggression, Leiden Journal of International Law, 20, pp.847
  • International Law Commission of the United Nations, Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, Report of the International Law Commission Covering its Second Session, 5 June-29 July, 1950, Document A/1316, pp. 11-14
  • Glennon Michael J. (2009). The Blank Prose Crime of Aggression, The Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 35: 71, pp. 78-79
  • Maogoto Nyamuya Jackson (2001) Aggression: Supreme International offence still in search of definition. Southern Cross University Law Rev. pp.27
  • Lee. S. Roy (1999) The International Criminal Court: the making of the Rome Statute—issues. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.177
  • U.N. Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1998). Report of the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, U.N. Doc. A/CONF. 183/2/Add. 1. pp.14
  • Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998, p.9
  • Solera Oscar (2008), The definition of the crime of aggression : Lessons not learned Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. Vol. 42:80, pp.823
  • Politi Mauro & Nesi Giuseppe,(2004). The International Criminal Court and the Crime of Aggression Ashgate Publishing: United Kingdom p.93
  • Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge, p.132,160,192,193,218
  • Schmitt Micheal N., Pejic Jelena, Dinstein Yorum (2007) International law and armed conflict:exploring the faultiness: essays in honour of Yorum Dinstein.. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.552
  • Raaflaub Kurt A. (2007). War and Peace in the Ancient World, Wiley Blackwell, p.292
  • Bugnion Francois (Sept. 2002). Just wars, wars of aggression and international humanitarian law.International Review of the Red Cross. Vol. 84,  pp. 5-6
  • Emer de Vattel (1916), The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law, translated by Charles G. Fenwick, Washington D.C., Carnegie Institution, Book III, Chapter III, p. 247
  • Cassese Antonio(2007) On Some Problematical Aspects of the Crime of Aggression, Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 20, pp.844
  • Micheal N. Schmitt, Jelena Pejic, Yorum Dinstein(2007). International law and armed conflict: exploring the faultiness: essays in honour of Yorum Dinstein.. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.197
  • Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly 3314 (XXIX). Definition of Aggression, UN Documents. Gathering a body of global agreements, UN Doc. A/RES/29/3314. Retrieved at: <http://www.un-documents.net/a29r3314.htm>
  • Lowenthal Abraham F.(1994), The Dominican Intervention. Johns Hopkins University Press. p.50
  • Verhoeven Sten (2004). Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in the News/Actualite’, Koninklijke Brill N.V., Leiden, The Netherlands. pp.106-108
  • Application Instituting Proceedings filed in the Registry of the Court on 23 June 1999, General List No. 116, at p. 5.
  • Case Concerning Armed Activities on the territory of Congo: New Application 2002-Jurisdiction of the Court and Admissibility of the Application (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Rwanda) Judgment of 3 February 2006(2007). International Court of Justice, United Nation Publications, p. 93
  • Tzatzaki Vasiliki Maria (2008). Case Concerning armed activities in the territory of Congo (The Democratic Republic of Congo v Uganda). I Greek Laws Law Journal, pp.283-288
  • Evans, Malcom D & Brown Chester (2003) International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, Vol. 52, pp.782-787
  • Paust Jordan (2009). The United States’ Use of Drones in Pakistan, EJIL Analysis. Retrieved at: <http://www.ejiltalk.org/the-united-states-use-of-drones-in-pakistan/>
  • G.G. Fitzmaurice, The Definition of Aggression, 1 (1952) ICLQ, pp. 137-138.
  • [1] 7 Videos about the symposium a Q & A discussion by top commentators, Retrieved at: <http://uc.princeton.edu/main/index.php/component/content/article/4550>
  • [2] Owen Robert Lathem (1919). The League of Nations Covenant. What it is proposing and what it is not proposing, Kessinger Publishing. Reprinted 2010, p.9 (Article 10)
  • [3] Heyman Neil M. (1997). World War I Greenwood Press p.167 (Discussing in detail the life of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his role in WWI).
  • [4] Krieken Peter J. Van & Mckay David (2005). The Hague- Legal Capital of the World, T.M.C. Asser Press, p.14
  • [5] Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge, p. 106.
  • [6] Werle Gerhard (2007). The Crime of Aggression between International and Domestic Criminal Law. Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, pp.5 ( Presentation at the XVth International Congress on Social Defence: Criminal Law between War and Peace: Justice and Cooperation in Military Matters in International Military Interventions, Toledo, Spain)
  • [7] The International Criminal Court and The Crime of Aggression (1995). Nordic Journal of International Law, Kluwer Academic Publishers,Netherlands. Vol. 64, pp. 224
  • [8] Latin Terms for ‘guilty mind’ and ‘guilt action’
  • [9] Roger S. Clark (2007). Nuremberg and the Crime Against Peace, 6 Wash. U. Global Studies L. Rev. p.527-28
  • [10] Bassiouni M. Cheriff (1996). Crime Against Humanity in International Criminal Law, 2nd Edition. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.549
  • [11] Ferencz B Benjamen(1999). Can Aggression be Deterred by Law. Pace International Law Review. pp.345
  • [12] Ibid.
  • [13] Schabas W.A. (1997) Sentencing by international tribunals: a human rights approach. Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, Vol.7, Issue 2, pp.487 [7 Duke J. of Comp. & Int’l L. 46]
  • [14] Schabas W.A.(1999).The Crime of Torture and the International Criminal Tribunals pp.351 CASE W. RES. J. INT’L L. [Vol. 37:349]
  • [15] Judgment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, 1 Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal 171 1 (1947).
  • [16] Ibid.
  • [17] International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Tokyo Trials, 1948, 15 ANN. DIG. & REP. OF PUB. INT’L Law Cases 356, 373.
  • [18] Noah Weisbord (2008), Prosecuting Aggression, Harvard International Law Journal, Vol.49, No.1, pp. 165 [49 Harv. Int’l L.J. 161 (2008)]
  • [19] Ibid
  • [20] Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge, p.142
  • [21] Henkin et al.(1993).Cases and Materials on International Law 3rd ed., p.868
  • [22] Cassese Antonio(2007) On Some Problematical Aspects of the Crime of Aggression, Leiden Journal of International Law, 20, pp.847
  • [23] International Law Commission of the United Nations, Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, Report of the International Law Commission Covering its Second Session, 5 June-29 July, 1950, Document A/1316, pp. 11-14
  • [24] Glennon Michael J. (2009). The Blank Prose Crime of Aggression, The Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 35: 71, pp. 78
  • [25] Glennon Michael J. (2009). The Blank Prose Crime of Aggression, The Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 35: 71, pp. 79
  • [26] Maogoto Nyamuya Jackson (2001) Aggression: Supreme International offence still in search of definition. Southern Cross University Law Rev. pp.27
  • [27] No crime, no punishment, without a previous penal law
  • [28]  Lee. S. Roy (1999) The International Criminal Court: the making of the Rome Statute—issues. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.177
  • [29] U.N. Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1998). Report of the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, U.N. Doc. A/CONF. 183/2/Add. 1. pp.14
  • [30] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998, p.9
  • [31] <7 Videos about the symposium Q& A discussion by top commentators retrieved at:
  • http://uc.princeton.edu/main/index.php/component/content/article/4550>
  • [32] Solera Oscar (2008), The definition of the crime of aggression : Lessons not learned Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. Vol. 42:80, pp.823
  • [33] Brownlie Ian (1991). International Law and the Use of Force by States, Oxford: Clarendon Press. p.200
  • [34] Politi Mauro & Nesi Giuseppe,(2004). The International Criminal Court and the Crime of Aggression Ashgate Publishing: United Kingdom p.93
  • [35] Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge, p.132
  • [36] Brownlie Ian (1991). International Law and States’ Use of Force, Oxford: Clarendon Press. p.361
  • [37] Schmitt Micheal N., Pejic Jelena, Dinstein Yorum (2007) International law and armed conflict:exploring the faultiness: essays in honour of Yorum Dinstein.. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.552
  • [38] Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge, p.192
  • [39] Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge,p.192-193
  • [40] Brownlie Ian (1991). International Law and States’ Use of Force, Oxford: Clarendon Press. p.43
  • [41] Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge, p.218
  • [42] Dinstein Yorum (2005) War, Aggression and Self-Defence 4th ed. CUP Cambridge, p.160
  • [43] Raaflaub Kurt A. (2007). War and Peace in the Ancient World, Wiley Blackwell, p.292
  • [44] Bugnion Francois (Sept. 2002). Just wars, wars of aggression and international humanitarian law.International Review of the Red Cross. Vol. 84,  pp. 5
  • [45] Emer de Vattel (1916), The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law, translated by Charles G. Fenwick, Washington D.C., Carnegie Institution, Book III, Chapter III, p. 247
  • [46] Bugnion Francois (Sept. 2002). Just wars, wars of aggression and international humanitarian law.International Review of the Red Cross. Vol. 84,  pp.6
  • [47] Brownlie Ian (1991). International Law and States’ Use of Force, Oxford: Clarendon Press, p.203
  • [48] Cassese Antonio(2007) On Some Problematical Aspects of the Crime of Aggression, Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 20, pp.844
  • [49] Micheal N. Schmitt, Jelena Pejic, Yorum Dinstein(2007). International law and armed conflict: exploring the faultiness: essays in honour of Yorum Dinstein.. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p.197
  • [50]Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly 3314 (XXIX). Definition of Aggression, UN Documents. Gathering a body of global agreements, UN Doc. A/RES/29/3314. Retrieved at:
  • <http://www.un-documents.net/a29r3314.htm>
  • [51] Lowenthal Abraham F. (1994), The Dominican Intervention. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 50
  • [52] Verhoeven Sten (2004). Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in the News/Actualite’, Koninklijke Brill N.V., Leiden, The Netherlands. pp.106-108
  • [53] Application Instituting Proceedings filed in the Registry of the Court on 23 June 1999, General List No. 116, at p. 5.
  • [54] Case Concerning Armed Activities on the territory of Congo: New Application 2002-Jurisdiction of the Court and Admissibility of the Application (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Rwanda) Judgment of 3 February 2006(2007). International Court of Justice, United Nation Publications, p. 93
  • [55] Tzatzaki Vasiliki Maria (2008). Case Concerning armed activities in the territory of Congo (The Democratic Republic of Congo v Uganda). I Greek Laws Law Journal, pp.283-288
  • [56] Evans, Malcom D & Brown Chester (2003) International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, Vol. 52, pp.782-787
  • [57] Paust Jordan (2009). The United States’ Use of Drones in Pakistan, EJIL Analysis. Retrieved at: <http://www.ejiltalk.org/the-united-states-use-of-drones-in-pakistan/>
  • [58] Ibid
  • [59] Ibid
  • [60] G.G. Fitzmaurice, The Definition of Aggression, 1 (1952) ICLQ, pp. 137-138.

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