Wednesday, June 02, 2010

International Criminal Court / Crime of Aggression

International Court May Define Aggression as Crime
By Marlise Simons
The New York Times, May 30, 2010
"More than 100 nations, contingents of human-rights groups and lawyers from around the globe, will begin a meeting on Monday in Kampala, Uganda, tackling issues that could fundamentally expand the power of international law. The thorniest question on the agenda, one certain to dominate the conference, is a proposal to give the International Criminal Court in The Hague the power to prosecute the crime of aggression. If approved, it could open the door to criminal accusations against powerful political and military leaders for attacks the court deems unlawful. Those could range from full-scale invasions to pre-emptive strikes. The court, the world's first permanent criminal court, already has a mandate to prosecute three groups of grave crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Adding aggression to this list 'would be a game-changer in international diplomacy,' said Noah Weisbord, a member of the expert group that has drafted a definition of the crime for the meeting. ...
Many of the court's 111 member countries have said that they favor adding the crime of aggression to its mandate. They include Germany and numerous small countries that see the change as a form of legal protection. But others, including Britain and France are opposed, arguing that it would overwhelm the court and trap it in political disputes. The United States, Russian and China, which cannot vote because they have not joined the court and are in Kampala only as observers, are strongly against expanding the court's purview and are expected to work hard behind the scenes to postpone any action on the issue. [...]"
[n.b. Pretty clear, on this basis, to see who's contemplating future acts of aggression ...]

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