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Unpublished Paper
A Meaningful Definition of the Crime of Aggression: A Response To Michael Glennon
ExpressO (2011)
  • Jennifer - Trahan
In his article “The Blank Prose Crime of Aggression,” 35 Yale J. of Int’l L. 71, Michael Glennon argues that the International Criminal Court’s newly adopted definition of the crime of aggression is so vague and overbroad that prosecutions under it would violate the prohibition on retroactive or ex post facto laws. His arguments rest on an incorrect construction of the definition, ignorance of the extensive negotiating history and travaux préparatoires that exist vis-à-vis the crime, and failure to consult the elements of the crime. His argument that the fact that past U.S. military action would be covered by the definition shows the definition’s infirmity is similarly flawed—again resting on fallacious interpretation of the definition, as well as questionable logic. Many of his arguments are also unduly alarmist because it is now clear that U.S. actions will not be subject to ICC crime of aggression jurisdiction if and when it is activated after January 1, 2017, because non-States Parties to the Rome Statute (such as the U.S.) will be exempt from such jurisdiction. Finally, his concerns about the role of the Security Council vis-à-vis aggression adjudications have now largely been proven moot by the agreement reached at the International Criminal Court’s Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. While Glennon’s article does raise interesting questions about how the U.S. should view the finalization of the definition and potential activation of jurisdiction, his failure to get more of the details right obscures the discussion.
  • crime of aggression,
  • international criminal court,
  • Kampala Review Conference
Publication Date
September 14, 2011
Citation Information
Jennifer - Trahan. "A Meaningful Definition of the Crime of Aggression: A Response To Michael Glennon" ExpressO (2011)
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