The International Criminal Court’s member countries will gather in May
in Kampala, Uganda, where they will spend most of their conference
considering whether to expand the court’s jurisdiction to include the
“crime of aggression.” This is a bad idea on many levels.
The ICC was established to be a standing international mechanism to
prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Eight trials
are underway at the court, all arising out of civil wars in Africa. The
court has yet to convict a defendant of any of these offenses.
Nor has the ICC ever prosecuted a case arising out of a conflict between
states. But this would change quickly if it is granted jurisdiction
over aggression, which the United Nations has defined as occurring when
one state uses armed force against another in a manner inconsistent with
the U.N. Charter.
Proponents say that previous efforts to prevent war, such as the Kellogg-Briand
Pact of 1928 and the U.N.
Charter of 1945, failed because they were toothless. Empower this
court to prosecute national leaders who order acts of aggression, they
contend, and aggression finally will be deterred.
But the effect would go beyond the court’s 110 members consenting to >>>