Journal Article

The Uncertain Legal Status of the Aggression Understandings

Kevin Jon Heller

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 10, issue 1, pages 229-248
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online February 2012 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqr055
The Uncertain Legal Status of the Aggression Understandings

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Annex III of Resolution RC/Res.6, adopted by consensus at Kampala on 12 June 2010, contains seven ‘Understandings’ concerning the amendments that add the crime of aggression to the Rome Statute. This article attempts to determine the legal status of those Understandings. It considers four possible interpretations: (i) that they are amendments to the Rome Statute; (ii) that they are a primary means of interpreting the aggression amendments under Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT); (iii) that they are an agreement to modify the Rome Statute by one or more parties to it under Article 41 of the VCLT; and (iv) that they are supplementary means of interpreting the aggression amendments under Article 32 of the VCLT. It concludes that, unless they are adopted by all of the States Parties to the Rome Statute, the Understandings are nothing more than supplementary means of interpretation that the Court would have the right to ignore once the aggression amendments entered into force.

Journal Article.  9524 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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