Defined: Crimes of Aggression
In this series, we’ve taken a look at many of the counts criminals can be indicted under by the International Criminal Court. Soon, there will be another to add to the mix. “Crimes of Aggression” will likely be an indictable offense beginning in 2017 – provided enough supporting parties ratify the amendment at that time.
But that paints a rather gloomy outlook, doesn’t it? Almost five years away before anyone could be indicted for what the ICC calls a “most serious” crime?
Then again, take a look at our countdown and see just how long some of these offenders have operated after being indicted. While there clearly has been a wave of change in some parts of the world, others remain hopeless and ignored by the international community.
So what is a crime of aggression?
Also called a “war of aggression,” this term is used in cases of hostile acts for no apparent cause between different states. It is not used for civil conflict. An ICC document states a crime of aggression is:
“the planning, preparation, initiation or execution of an act of using armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State.”
What will the End Impunity roll call look like when “crime of aggression” becomes an indictable offense? Will anything have changed but the tally of days?