Rime of Aggression (Crime Against Peace)


The a?crime of aggressiona previously known as the a?crime against peace a? is exceptionally difficult to define because it is intertwined with a number of unresolved historical debates within the field of international law, such as :
1. the distinction between a a?justa and an a?unjusat war.
2. Distinguishing aggression and right of self-defence in the international law of the use of force
3. Legal consequences of aggression : a) state responsibility for acts of aggresion and b) the the possibility of holding individuals criminally responsible for collective acts of political violence.

The purpose of this essay is to discuss comprehensively the controversies surrounding the above points. The paper is divided in two Parts.

Part I : Is an examination of the theoretical litterature and the historical background from a?renunciation of wara, to a?crime against peacea to making individual responsible for crime of aggression in the Nuremberg trial, to the UN Charter and finaly to the UN attempt to define aggression.

Questions such as : Why did the UNas the International Law Commission (ILC) failed to properly define the crime of aggression ? The concluding remark is what in 1952, Mr. G.G. Fitzmaurice, the Representative of the United Kingdom at the General Assembly said that the ILC failed to reach a proper definition for the crime of aggression, not because of a?lack of efforts or goodwilla but because a?the concept a¦ is one which is inherently incapable of precise definitiona due to its political and legal nature. See G.G. Fitzmaurice, a?The Definition of Aggressiona, 1 (1952) ICLQ, 137-138.

PART II : What is aggression? What constitutes aggression ? How is aggression determined in international law ? Does all illegal use of force constitute aggression ? Is border attack an aggression ? What does it mean aggravated aggressive wars? Does an intervention for a?regime changea or to establish a democratic regime an aggression ?
A thorough review of the right to self-defence in international law is necessary such as : the interpretation of Articles 2(4) and 51 of the UN Charter as well as the Caroline case in customary international law.

Special focus will be given to the Case Law of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). All decisions are available online at the ICJ website. Discuss some of cases:
- Advisory Opinion case concerning US v Nicaragua (paramilitary case).
- The Democratic Republic of Congo institutes proceedings with ICJ against Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda on account of a?acts of armed aggressiona? , a a?violation of [its] sovereignty and of [its] territorial integritya?.

The Chapter must cover all of the elements in the outline and more.
1. Historical Evolutioncrimes against peace to crime of aggression 8-10 Pages
War World I a unsuccessful case of the German Keiser
1.1.1. The Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)
1.1.2. Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals (1945-1948)
a? Nuremberg Principle and Customary International Law
1.1.3. The UN Charter (1946)
1.1.4. The General Assembly Resolution 3314 (1974) a Accepted Definition
1.1.5. ILCs Draft Code on Crimes against Peace and Mankind (1996) a rejected definition
1.1.6. Article 5 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ICC (1998) a Aggression undefined and ICC lacking jurisdiction.
1.1.7. ICC meeting in Kampala consensus on the definition amended Article 8bis reached but still lacking jurisdiction (June 2010)
1.1.8. Concluding Observations & Introduction to Part II.

2. Acts of Aggression 8-10 Pages
What actS can lead to crime of aggression in International Law ?
2.1.1. Theoretical framework of a?Justa and a?Unjust Wara (Grotius theoretical concepts)
2.1.2. UN Charter and Threat to Peace
a? Chapter VII Article 39
a? Collective Self-Defense a Chapter VII a Articles 42, 51. Individual state self-defense Article 2 (4)
2.1.3. UN Security Council unauthorised Humanitarian Intervention a Does the doctrine Responsibility to Protect (R2P) constitute an act of aggression when the Security Council does not authorise a humanitarian intervention (e.g. NATO bombardment of Kosovo)
2.1.4. Aggression
a? Direct Attack: (Democratic Republic of Congo v others)
a? Blockade,
a? Ooccupation and annexation of territory
a? Indirect Aggression: Nicaragua paramilitary case
a? Aggravated Aggression
2.1.5. Concluding Remarks
Word Count: 5,000
P . S. Do not include in the word counts (pages) : the Introduction, the outline, footnotes and the bibliography as these are given. Use OSCOLA footnotes.

The paper must contain summary of arguments and analysis by experts in the field of international criminal law such as Prof. Bassiouni, Prof Cassese, Prof. Schabbas, Prof. Werle, former Nuremberg Prosecutor Ben Ferrencz (ony living prosecutor from that era), David Scheffer (US ambassador of War Crimes issues 1997-2001) etc.

BLIOGRAPHY : Available Free Online

Symposium on Aggression by Case Western Reserve University Journal of International Law, Vol. 41, Nos. 2 & 3 (2009) available free online at

ICC Review Conference (Analysis from top experts)

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