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Amending the Amendment: In Search of an Adequate Procedure for a Revision of the Jurisdictional Regime for the Crime of Aggression in the Rome Statute

In the wake of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the so far often neglected crime of aggression is receiving increased attention. While this attention is currently centred primarily on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine, there is also growing support for an amendment of the jurisdictional regime for the crime of aggression in the Rome Statute (hereinafter: RS). So far, Art. 8 bis RS has remained a dead letter, as States Parties agreed in Kampala on a very restrictive jurisdictional regime deviating from Art. 12 RS. These restrictions become painfully clear in view of the Russian war of aggression. Irrespective of further developments towards the establishment of a special tribunal, it would be desirable if the proposals to enliven Art. 8 bis RS were to materialise. But what procedure would apply to such a revision? Although various substantive proposals for a revision of the jurisdictional regime have already been made, the question of the adequate procedure for such an amendment has hardly been discussed so far. The legal basis of the amendment procedure chosen in Kampala is…

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ICC Investigation in Georgia: A Success Story?

The conclusion of the investigation phase in the Situation in Georgia by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has once again brought into the spotlight the often overlooked conflict between Georgia and Russia that took place in August 2008 over the occupied territory of South Ossetia. After months of internal escalation in the breakaway…

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Mitigation of Dominic Ongwen’s sentence: Gaps in the justification

On 15 December 2022 the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) upheld the conviction and sentence of Dominic Ongwen. Mitigation of Ongwen’s sentence because of his past as a child soldier was not the subject of any of the grounds of appeal, but the appeal process left his sentence unaltered…

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Towards Advisory Opinions of the International Criminal Court

Introduction On 25 October 2022, the Appeals Chamber (“AC”) of International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) delivered the Decision on the Admissibility of the Appeal in the case of The Prosecutor v. Mahamat Said Abdel Kani (“Said Decision”). The context of the appeal is that the Defence had sought leave to appeal the Trial…

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Why the ICC’s termination of proceedings against deceased Kenyan defendant Paul Gicheru should not be the end of the matter

On 26 September 2022, an ICC defendant, Mr Paul Gicheru, died in Kenya at the age of 52, prompting the New York Times, Radio France Internationale and Voice of America to report on the suspicious circumstances surrounding his sudden demise. Mr Gicheru passed away at home after visiting a…

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