The year is 2020. By 2018, the required 30 states had entered their ratifications of the ‘aggression amendments’ to the ICC Statute, and a decision of two-thirds of the State Parties to the Statute was taken on 1 January 2018 to activate the jurisdiction of the Court over the crime of aggression.
You have become an expert in International Criminal Law and have gotten a job as chief legal advisor to the Office of the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor has asked you to draft a memo, advising her as to whether the Court would have jurisdiction over the following acts as a crime of aggression. Please refer to Resolution RC/Res.6, and to the ICC Statute, as well as other legal materials, as appropriate.
a. The state of Hurria neighbours Udigger. On 31 December 2018, Hurria annexed part of Udigger, claiming that the rights of individuals of Hurrian ethnicity were being violated by the government of Udigger. Hurria is a State Party to the ICC Statute and has ratified the ‘aggression amendments’, but Udigger is not a State Party to the Statute. However, Udigger has lodged a declaration pursuant to Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute, stating that it accepts the jurisdiction of the ICC with respect to the crime of aggression. The government of Udigger has referred the situation to the Prosecutor, stating that this is in accordance with Article 14.
b. Rockland is an island state in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. On 14 February 2019, the armed forces of its neighbouring island, Bluesland, followed an instruction handed down by Bluesland’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Major Sunshine, and blockaded Rockland’s main naval port. Both Rockland and Bluesland are State Parties to the ICC Statute. Neither has ratified the ‘aggression amendments’, nor have they issued a declaration of non-acceptance pursuant to Article 15bis. The Prosecutor wishes to exercise her propio motu powers to initiate an investigation into this incident.
c. Utopia is a State Party to the ICC Statute, and has ratified the ‘aggression amendments’. Dissatisfied with the election results in the neighbouring state of Nirvana, the Utopian prime minister ordered the army’s Special Operations Unit to cut all of Nirvana’s telecommunications links and internet signals by conducting a cyberattack on its telecommunications towers on 31 December 2019. Nirvana is not a State Party to the ICC Statute. The Security Council has referred this situation to the ICC Prosecutor for investigation.
d. Freedonia and Sylvania are both State Parties to the ICC Statute, and both have ratified the ‘aggression amendments’. On 1 January 2020, Freedonia’s dictatorial leader, Count von Awful, ordered that all people of Sylvanian ethnicity residing in Freedonia were to be destroyed, and a number of his loyal supporters commenced killing, following his genocidal plan. Sylvania’s Prime Minister called an emergency cabinet meeting, where his Minister for Justice informed him that there was a doctrine known as the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine, which required him to send Sylvanian troops to Freedonia to protect the lives of innocent civilians. The cabinet’s chief legal advisor agreed that this was permissible, and so the armed forces of Sylvania invaded Freedonia on 2 January, thereby saving the lives of millions of civilians. Count von Awful has referred this situation to the ICC Prosecutor.
Please use Robert Cryer, Håkan Friman, Darryl Robinson, and Elizabeth Wilmhurst, An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure (Cambridge: CUP, 2010).
– Ilias Bantekas and Susan Nash, International Criminal Law (2nd edn, London: Cavendish, 2003)
– Ilias Bantekas, International Criminal Law (4th edn, Oxford: Hart, 2010)
– Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law (2nd edn, Oxford: OUP, 2008)
– Antonio Cassese et al (eds), International Criminal Law: Cases and Commentary (Oxford: OUP, 2011) books and british library references
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