Historical Evolution of the Crime of Aggression

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Prof. M. Cherif Bassiouni, Chair of the Drafting Committee at the Rome Diplomatic Conference to Establish the International Criminal Court, delivers a keynote address at a symposium on "The International Criminal Court and the Crime of Aggression". (Sep 26, 2008 at Case Western Reserve University) About the Symposium: Sixty years ago, the Nuremberg Tribunal convicted the Nazi leaders of waging a war of aggression, prompting Nuremberg Prosecutor Robert Jackson to declare that this was the most important contribution of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Until the advent of the International Criminal Court, however, none of the modern international tribunals had been given jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. But the ICC Statute stipulates that before the Court can exercise jurisdiction over this crime the States Parties must adopt a provision at the Review Conference (scheduled for 2010) setting forth a definition of aggression and the conditions under which the Court could exercise its jurisdiction over it. The ICC Assembly of State Parties has set up a Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression, whose work is in progress, but the United States has refused to participate in the proceedings. In an effort to advance the initiative, Case Western Reserve Universitys Frederick K. Cox International law Center and the above named co-sponsors hosted a symposium and experts meeting, featuring foremost academic and international experts on the topic of the ICC and the Crime of Aggression. The Report of the Experts Meeting, along with articles generated from the symposium, will be published in the spring 2009 issue of the Case Western Journal of International Law, copies of which will be provided to the participants of the ICC Special Working Group and the members of the Assembly of State Parties.


Case Western Reserve University School of Law

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