UNITED STATES: An assembly of 123 countries gathered at the United Nations agreed to allow the International Criminal Court to prosecute those responsible for the crime of aggression, officials said Friday.
The state-parties to the Rome Treaty, which created the ICC, adopted by consensus on Thursday a resolution “on the activation of the jurisdiction of the court over the crime of aggression,” a court statement read.
The move has been under discussion for years, with Britain, France and Japan among countries reluctant to allow their nationals to be tried under such a charge.
At its founding in 1998, the ICC’s backers could not agree on a legal definition of “aggression,” but a consensus was finally reached at a conference in Kampala in 2010.
The resolution adopted late Thursday, however, does not allow for retroactive prosecutions and only applies to state-parties, which means China, Russia and the United States will not be affected.
The International Peace Institute, a New York-based think thank, said it was doubtful whether aggression will be prosecuted any time soon, given the interpretations of the legal meaning and the political interests involved.
Member-states can declare that they do not accept the jurisdiction of the court over the crime of aggression, complicating the application.