Amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

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Amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court must be proposed, adopted, and ratified in accordance with articles 121 and 122 of the Statute. Any state party to the Statute can propose an amendment. The prosed amendment can be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote in either a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or a review conference called by the Assembly. An amendment comes into force for all states parties one year after it is ratified by seven-eighths of the states parties.[1] However, any amendment to articles 5, 6, 7, or 8 of the Statute only enters into force for states parties that have ratified the amendment. A state party which ratifies an amendment to articles 5, 6, 7, or 8 is subject to that amendment one year after ratifying it, regardless of how many other states parties have also ratified it.[2] For an article 5, 6, 7, or 8 amendment, the Statute itself is amended after the amendment comes into force for the first state party to ratify it. Amendments of a purely institutional nature enter into force six months after they are approved by a two-thirds majority vote in either a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or a review conference.[3]

Summary of adopted amendments to the Rome Statute[edit]

In June 2010, two amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court were adopted by the Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. The first amendment criminalizes the use of certain kinds of weapons in non-international conflicts whose use was already forbidden in international conflicts.[4] It has been ratified by 16 states parties and is in force in four of them.[5] The second amendment specifies the crime of aggression.[6] It has been ratified by 13 states parties and is in force in three of them.[7] However, per the language of the amendment, the Court will only have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression after two additional conditions are met: (1) the amendment has entered into force for 30 states parties and (2) on a date after 1 January 2017, the Assembly of States Parties has voted in favour of allowing the Court to exercise jurisdiction.

Name Adopted on Ratified by In force on In force in[A]
Amendment to article 8 10 June 2010 16 26 September 2012 6
Amendments on the crime of aggression 11 June 2010 13 8 May 2013 5

Amendment to article 8 (2010)[edit]

Summary[edit]

An amendment to article 8 was adopted on 10 June 2010 at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda.[4] The amendment had originally been proposed by Belgium and it was forwarded to the Review Conference by the eighth session of the Assembly of States Parties.[8]

The amendment adds to article 8(2)(e) three clauses which make it a war crime to employ chemical weapons or expanding bullets in an armed conflict not of an international character.[4] The Rome Statute already makes the use of chemical weapons and expanding bullets a war crime in armed conflicts between countries.

States parties to the amendment[edit]

Because the amendment is to article 8, it will come into force only for those states parties which have ratified it, one year after doing so. Thus far, 16 states parties have ratified the document.[5] However, the Rome Statute itself was amended on 26 September 2012 after the amendment came into force for the first state party to ratify it. Since 26 September 2012, the amendment has been part of the Statute and any state that becomes a party to the Statute can choose to also be a party to the amendment.

State Ratified Entry into force
 Andorra 26 September 2013 26 September 2014
 Belgium 26 November 2013 26 November 2014
 Botswana 4 June 2013 4 June 2014
 Croatia 20 December 2013 20 December 2014
 Cyprus 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
 Estonia 27 March 2013 27 March 2014
 Germany 3 June 2013 3 June 2014
 Liechtenstein 8 May 2012 8 May 2013
 Luxembourg 15 January 2013 15 January 2014
 Mauritius 5 September 2013 5 September 2014
 Norway 10 June 2013 10 June 2014
 Samoa 25 September 2012 25 September 2013
 San Marino 26 September 2011 26 September 2012
 Slovenia 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
 Trinidad and Tobago 13 November 2012 13 November 2013
 Uruguay 26 September 2013 26 September 2014

Amendments on the crime of aggression (2010)[edit]

Summary[edit]

Amendments on the crime of aggression were adopted on 11 June 2010 at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda.[6] The amendments were proposed by Liechtenstein, which chaired the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression, the committee directed by the Assembly of States Parties to form a definition for the crime of aggression, which was originally absent from the Statute.[9]

The amendments define the crime of aggression in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314. Acts of aggression are: invading another state; bombing another state; blockading the ports or coastlines of another state; attacking the land, sea, or air forces, or marine or sea fleets of another state; violating a status of forces agreement; using armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries against another state; allowing territory to be used by another state to perpetrate an act of aggression against a third state.[6]

While the amendments will come into force one year after being ratified, the amended text says that only crimes of aggression committed one year or more after the thirtieth ratification are within the jurisdiction of the Court. Furthermore, a decision is to be taken by the Assembly of States Parties with a two-thirds majority vote after 1 January 2017 to actually exercise jurisdiction.[6]

While upon a United Nations Security Council referral the Prosecutor can open an investigation against the national of any state, this is not the case with state referral and proprio motu investigations by the Prosecutor. A state party can opt-out of these amendments, and nationals of non-states parties are not subject to the Court's jurisdiction. Additionally, the Prosecutor must wait for a determination of the Security Council regarding an act of aggression. If the Security Council determines an act of aggression has taken place, the Prosecutor may proceed. If the Security Council does not act within six months, the Prosecutor can proceed provided that a Pre-Trial Chamber approves that move. The Security Council keeps its right to defer investigations for a period of one year.[6]

States parties to the amendments[edit]

Thus far, 13 states parties have ratified the amendment.[7] Per the amendments, the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court begins one year after the 30th ratification of the amendment but not before the Assembly of States Parties has approved the commencement of jurisdiction after 1 January 2017.

State Ratified Entry into force
 Andorra 26 September 2013 26 September 2014
 Belgium 26 November 2013 26 November 2014
 Botswana 4 June 2013 4 June 2014
 Croatia 20 December 2013 20 December 2014
 Cyprus 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
 Estonia 27 March 2013 27 March 2014
 Germany 3 June 2013 3 June 2014
 Liechtenstein 8 May 2012 8 May 2013
 Luxembourg 15 January 2013 15 January 2014
 Samoa 25 September 2012 25 September 2013
 Slovenia 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
 Trinidad and Tobago 13 November 2012 13 November 2013
 Uruguay 26 September 2013 26 September 2014

Proposed amendments[edit]

A number of amendments have been proposed by states parties, but have either not been considered or adopted by the Assembly:

Notes[edit]

A An amendment to articles 5, 6, 7, or 8 of the Statute only enters into force for states parties that have ratified the amendment.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Article 121 (3), (4), and (6) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  2. ^ Article 121 (5) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  3. ^ Article 122 (2) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  4. ^ a b c "Resolution RC/Res.5: Amendments to article 8 of the Rome Statute" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  5. ^ a b "Chapter XVIII, Penal Matters 10.a: Amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court". United Nations Treaty Collections. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Resolution RC/Res.6: The crime of aggression" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  7. ^ a b "Chapter XVIII, Penal Matters 10.b: Amendments on the crime of aggression to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Annex VIII: Elements of crimes corresponding to the proposed amendment contained in annex III to resolution ICC-ASP/8/Res.6" (PDF). International Criminal Court. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  9. ^ "ICC-ASP/8/20: Annex II – Liechtenstein: Proposals for a provision on aggression" (PDF). International Criminal Court. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  10. ^ a b c d "ICC-ASP-NL-03/10-En: ASP Special Edition Newsletter #3" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  11. ^ a b "ICC-ASP-NL-02.b/09-En: ASP Special Edition Newsletter #2" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2000-12-17. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  12. ^ "ICC-ASP/10/32: Report on the Working Group on Amendments" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  13. ^ Masau, Nzau and Gideon Keter (2013-11-18). "9 AU countries threaten bid to amend ICC regulations". The Star (Nairobi). Retrieved 2013-11-29.