Individual criminal liability for the international crime of aggression

Kemp, Gerhard (2008-03)

Thesis (LLD (Public Law))—University of Stellenbosch, 2008.


Aggression is regarded as one of the core crimes under customary international law, but the definition of aggression is still contentious. At present there is no international instrument that provides for effective individual criminal liability for the crime of aggression. 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 by the ICC. This dissertation seeks to identify the elements of the international crime of aggression, for purposes of individual criminal liability. It is submitted that the creation of the ICC provides the international community with an historic opportunity to establish effective jurisdiction over the crime of aggression.

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