ICC states reach compromise on crime of aggression


Member nations of the International Criminal Court hammered out a compromise deal on Saturday partly patching over divisions on how investigations into suspected crimes of state aggression could be triggered.

The resolution adopted said the United Nations Security Council would have the primary call for an investigation, but that the ICC itself and individual member states would also be able to initiate probes, Reuters reports. The deal will shield non-members, such as the United States, China and Russia, from being investigated.

The agreement also includes a clause delaying its entry into force until ICC member states grant formal approval after January 2017. Japan’s delegation harshly criticised the resolution, saying it had doubts about its legality. Several other delegates said the deal had come about only because certain countries were prepared to give way on some sticking points.
“This is a compromise and people need to make concessions. this is a deal and we should be happy with it,” said one delegate prior to its adoption. The issue has deeply divided states over the role the Security Council should play.

Smaller nations, Latin American and African nations have been wary of yielding authority to a world body dominated by the five permanent members — Britain, the United States, China, Russia and France.

Pic: Argentinean-born ICC chief prosecutor Luis Mereno-Ocampo