Legal Reading Group: Intellectual History of Aggression

How is aggression conceived under international law? Has the lack of willingness from states to ratify the Kampala compromise affected the recognition of aggression as a core international crime? How does this affect the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court?

Julie Crutchley will be presenting her work in progress titled: "Intellectual History of Aggression: Legitimacy of the Supreme International Crime and of the International Criminal Court".

"The activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression marked a turning point in international criminal law. Finally, individual perpetrators of the ‘supreme international crime’, could be held accountable. Yet many state parties to the Rome Statute have been slow to ratify the Kampala compromise. Some of these state parties have expressed reservations over the crime of aggression, and the potentially political nature of this crime. Although ‘crimes against peace’ was deemed a core international crime in the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, subsequent recognition of aggression as an international crime stalled until the Kampala compromise. This article provides philosophical justification for the criminalisation of aggressive actions and details how it fits into the wider normative focus of courts within the international legal system."

Please contact Nicola Strain if you are interested in participating online.


The legal research group meets on a regular basis to discuss leading publications on international courts and tribunals. The aim is to develop our understanding of an article/book chapter and how it might be relevant for our own projects, through sharing insights on its substance, merits, and broader context. The research group managed by PluriCourts, but open to everyone that is interested.

Published Feb. 4, 2021 5:24 PM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2021 8:00 PM