Wednesday, 9 May 2012

First Ratification of Aggression Amendment to Rome Statute

Liechtenstein is the first State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to ratify the amendments incorporating the crime of genocide within the jurisdiction of the Court. Thirty such ratifications are required for the amendments to enter into force. In addition, the Assembly of States Parties will be required to adopt a resolution confirming the entry into force of the amendments. This cannot take place before 2017.
This is a first step towards completing the process that began with adoption of the amendments at the Kampala Review Conference in June 2010.
It is fitting that Leichtenstein be the first State Party to ratify, because its Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Christian Weneweser, and his key aide, Stefan Barriga, played an indispensable role in the negotiation of the amendments. Together with German academic Claus Kress, Stefan recently published a collection of the drafting history of the aggression amendments.
Obtaining the remaining 29 ratifications is complicated by the fact that the NGO community, which did so much to promote ratification of the Statute itself, is dragging its heels. Hopefully the big NGOs will realize the mistake they made with their indifference to the aggression amendments. One way or another, however, there can be little doubt that the thirty ratifications will be obtained by 2017 and that the resolution of the Assembly of States Parties will be adopted without difficulty. Several States have already indicated that they will follow the example of Liechtenstein.

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