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The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) provides for the inclusion of the crime of aggression within the Court's jurisdiction, but the Statute needs to be amended to include a definition of aggression and conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction. The Assembly of States Parties of the ICC will have such an opportunity to review the Rome Statute at its conference in Kampala (Uganda) in 2010. The author argues in this book that the review process provides an opportunity for the establishment of a realistic criminalisation regime for the crime of aggression. However, this criminal justice response to aggression has implications for the collective security system (embodied by the United Nations). No criminal justice response to aggression can ignore the latter aspect.
The book thus provides an historical and contextual account of the development of the notion of aggression. It identifies the important debates affecting the attempts to define the crime of aggression; puts the legal debates in normative and international political context; and examines the conditions necessary for the prosecution of the crime of aggression - both nationally and internationally. It is submitted that the almost universal non-criminalisation of aggression at national level (and the concomitant lack of prosecutions) must be understood in the light of multiple constitutional, doctrinal and political reasons. These aspects are analysed with reference to national case studies.
With this book, the author hopes to contribute to the process to construct a realistic and effective regime for individual criminal liability for the crime of aggression. Persons interested in international (and domestic) criminal law, public international law, as well as diplomacy and international politics, will find this book useful - especially at this point in time when there seems to be a real possibility to reaffirm and concretise the legacy of Nuremberg - that is to end impunity for the 'supreme international crime'. The book contains commentary on the most recent work of the Assembly of States Parties' Inter-sessional Meeting on the Crime of Aggression.
Gerhard Kemp is professor of criminal law and international criminal law at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He studied at Stellenbosch and at Antwerp, Belgium. His publications include discussions and analyses of the application of international criminal law at domestic level, and the impact of human rights on international co-operation in criminal matters. He serves on the ed.ial board of the African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law.