Deal Done.

At 12:15am, the final plenary session of the Review Conference of the International Criminal Conference adopted the draft amendment on the crime of aggression by consensus.

Immediately beforehand, the Japanese delegation made a pointed speech opposing the content of the resolution. They noted two particular grounds.  First, the amendment was, in the view of the Japanese delegation, concluded via dubious legal means, as it did not accord with the procedures of the Rome Statute. Second, as a State Party in a region of non-parties, Japan was deeply unhappy with the “blanket immunity” applied to non-parties (since as per the amendment acts of aggression committed by the nationals or on the territory of a non-party are completely exempt from the Court’s jurisdiction). For a few moments, it looked to those assembled that Japan was going to announce that it would not join the consensus position. But in the final sentence of the intervention, the Head of the Japanese delegation announced that “with a heavy heart” given their significant concerns, Japan would not stand in the way of consensus.

Following the intervention, the Chair asked if it was the will of the assembled delegations to adopt the amendment without a vote. As there were no objections raised, it was so agreed, and the amendment resolution on the crime of aggression was adopted.

It is very late here, and everyone is exhausted, so we will leave substantive analysis for a later time. Suffice it to say that many delegations and NGO groups are disappointed with many aspects of the amendment, but that ultimately most feel it was better to get something done here, rather than wait for a indeterminate future moment.

For the moment, we are signing off.


1 Rose { 06.11.10 at 3:38 pm }

Hi there! Reading up on what happened from the free internet at Singapore airport. If either of you gets a chance, could you please clarify something about the amendment for me? Or point me in the direction of something someone’s put online that might have the answer? When the SC makes a declaration, but it’s a declaration at the act of aggression has not occured (as opposed to one saying an act of aggression has occured) , can the prosecutor still proceed through the chanels to have th situtation investigated? Thanks for all your great posts so far. Rose

2 Asad Kiyani { 06.12.10 at 11:45 pm }

This was actually quite gripping. Thanks for this guys. AK

3 asbower { 06.13.10 at 12:21 pm }

Hi Rose,
I don’t have the text in front of me, so I’ll have to defer on this until I get back to my laptop and conference files. Prof. Bill Schabas’ blog ( has a good run-down on the amendment, but I’m not sure if he answers your particular question. I’ll re-read the final text in a few days when I have a chance, and get back to you.
But one thing to recall is that nothing–neither a UNSC determination/referral nor an independent initiation of an investigation by the Court–can occur until at least 2017. That was part of the grand bargain that got this amendment over the finish line.

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