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The Definition of the Crime of Aggression in the Context of the Rome Statute

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Abstract:

After the end of the Second World War, the axis leaders were tried for waging a war of aggression. The International Military Tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo were the last to try and punish individuals for committing such an offence. With the creation of the International Criminal Court great effort has been put into producing a clear definition of aggression that would allow the international community to once again exercise jurisdiction over this crime. The working group that was given this task managed to prepare a set of draft articles for the Assembly of States Parties to vote on. The draft articles consisted of the definition of the crime of aggression as well as of the rules under which the court would be allowed to exercise its jurisdiction. As no consensus was reached within the working group on the rules of jurisdiction, different alternatives were proposed.The aim of this article is to examine and analyze the various alternatives offered by the working group and to give an assessment of the draft definition of aggression. This article argues that the best solution is to opt for a regulation that gives the court the broadest jurisdiction available. Only by having extensive competence will the court be able to uphold the rule of law. In addition, the author believes that despite some minor drafting flaws, the definition of crime of aggression has the potential to bring forth a new world order where perpetrators of this most serious crime could not escape the clutches of justice.

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