Amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court must be proposed, adopted, and ratified in accordance with articles 121 and 122 of the Statute. Any state party to the Statute can propose an amendment. The proposed amendment can be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote in either a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or a review conference called by the Assembly. An amendment comes into force for all states parties one year after it is ratified by seven-eighths of the states parties.[1] However, any amendment to articles 5, 6, 7, or 8 of the Statute only enters into force for states parties that have ratified the amendment. A state party which ratifies an amendment to articles 5, 6, 7, or 8 is subject to that amendment one year after ratifying it, regardless of how many other states parties have also ratified it.[2] For an article 5, 6, 7, or 8 amendment, the Statute itself is amended after the amendment comes into force for the first state party to ratify it. Amendments of a purely institutional nature enter into force six months after they are approved by a two-thirds majority vote in either a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or a review conference.[3]

Summary of adopted amendments to the Rome StatuteEdit

In June 2010, two amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court were adopted by the Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. The first amendment criminalizes the use of certain kinds of weapons in non-international conflicts whose use was already forbidden in international conflicts.[4] The second amendment defines the crime of aggression.[5] It entered into force in May 2013, but its activation was tied to two conditions, which were met in July 2018. In November 2015, an additional amendment to remove article 124 from the Statute was adopted during the 14th meeting of the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague in the Netherlands.[6] In December 2017, three amendments to article 8 were adopted at the 12th meeting of the Assembly of States Parties in New York City. In December 2019, one additional amendment to article 8 was adopted by the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague.

Name Adopted at Adopted on Ratified by In force on In force for[A] Ref.
Amendment to article 8 Kampala 10 June 2010 40 26 September 2012 38 [7]
Amendments on the crime of aggression Kampala 10 June 2010 41 8 May 2013 39 [8]
Amendment to article 124 The Hague 26 November 2015 15 0 [9]
Amendment to article 8 (Weapons which use microbial or other biological agents, or toxins) New York 14 December 2017 9 2 April 2020 4 [10]
Amendment to article 8 (Weapons the primary effect of which is to injure by fragments undetectable by x-rays in the human body) New York 14 December 2017 9 2 April 2020 4 [11]
Amendment to article 8 (Blinding laser weapons) New York 14 December 2017 9 2 April 2020 4 [12]
Amendment to article 8 (Intentionally using starvation of civilians) The Hague 6 December 2019 6 14 October 2021 0 [13]

Amendment to article 8 (2010)Edit

SummaryEdit

An amendment to article 8 was adopted on 10 June 2010 at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda.[4] The amendment had originally been proposed by Belgium and it was forwarded to the Review Conference by the eighth session of the Assembly of States Parties.[14]

The amendment adds to article 8(2)(e) three clauses which make it a war crime to employ poison, "asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices," or expanding bullets in an armed conflict not of an international character.[4] The Rome Statute already makes the use of such means of warfare a war crime in international armed conflicts.

States parties to the amendmentEdit

Because the amendment is to article 8, it will come into force only for those states parties which have ratified it, one year after doing so. As of February 2021, 40 states parties have ratified the document.[7] The Rome Statute itself was amended on 26 September 2012 after the amendment came into force for the first state party to ratify it.

State[7] Ratified Entry into force
  Andorra 26 September 2013 26 September 2014
  Argentina 28 April 2017 28 April 2018
  Austria 17 July 2014 17 July 2015
  Belgium 26 November 2013 26 November 2014
  Botswana 4 June 2013 4 June 2014
  Chile 23 September 2016 23 September 2017
  Costa Rica 5 February 2015 5 February 2016
  Croatia 20 December 2013 20 December 2014
  Cyprus 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
  Czech Republic 12 March 2015 12 March 2016
  El Salvador 3 March 2016 3 March 2017
  Estonia 27 March 2013 27 March 2014
  Finland 30 December 2015 30 December 2016
  Georgia 3 November 2015 3 November 2016
  Germany 3 June 2013 3 June 2014
  Guyana 28 September 2018 28 September 2019
  Latvia 25 September 2014 25 September 2015
  Liechtenstein 8 May 2012 8 May 2013
  Lithuania 7 December 2015 7 December 2016
  Luxembourg 15 January 2013 15 January 2014
  Malta 30 January 2015 30 January 2016
  Mauritius 5 September 2013 5 September 2014
  Mongolia 18 January 2021 18 January 2022
  Netherlands[B] 23 September 2016 23 September 2017
  New Zealand 14 October 2020 14 October 2021
  North Macedonia 1 March 2016 1 March 2017
  Norway 10 June 2013 10 June 2014
  Panama 6 December 2017 6 December 2018
  Palestine 29 December 2017 29 December 2018
  Paraguay 5 April 2019 5 April 2020
  Poland 25 September 2014 25 September 2015
  Portugal 11 April 2017 11 April 2018
  Samoa 25 September 2012 25 September 2013
  San Marino 26 September 2011 26 September 2012
  Slovakia 28 April 2014 28 April 2015
  Slovenia 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
  Spain 25 September 2014 25 September 2015
   Switzerland 10 September 2015 10 September 2016
  Trinidad and Tobago 13 November 2012 13 November 2013
  Uruguay 26 September 2013 26 September 2014

Amendments on the crime of aggression (2010)Edit

SummaryEdit

Amendments on the crime of aggression were adopted on 11 June 2010 at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda.[5] The amendments were proposed by Liechtenstein, which chaired the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression, the committee directed by the Assembly of States Parties to form a definition for the crime of aggression, which was originally absent from the Statute.[15]

The amendments define the crime of aggression in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314. Acts of aggression are: invading another state; bombing another state; blockading the ports or coastlines of another state; attacking the land, sea, or air forces, or marine or sea fleets of another state; violating a status of forces agreement; using armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries against another state; allowing territory to be used by another state to perpetrate an act of aggression against a third state.[5]

While the amendments come into force one year after being ratified, the amended text says that only crimes of aggression committed one year or more after the thirtieth ratification are within the jurisdiction of the Court. Furthermore, a decision had to be taken by the Assembly of States Parties with a two-thirds majority vote after 1 January 2017 to actually activate jurisdiction.[5] On 26 June 2016, the State of Palestine became the 30th state party to ratify the amendment,[16] thus ensuring that the first condition would be fulfilled. On 14 December 2017, the Assembly of States Parties adopted a resolution fulfilling the second condition, activating the Court's jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as of 17 July 2018.[17]

While upon a United Nations Security Council referral the Prosecutor can open an investigation against the national of any state, this is not the case with state referral and proprio motu investigations by the Prosecutor. A state party can opt out of these amendments, and nationals of non-states parties are not subject to the Court's jurisdiction. Additionally, the Prosecutor must wait for a determination of the Security Council regarding an act of aggression. If the Security Council determines an act of aggression has taken place, the Prosecutor may proceed. If the Security Council does not act within six months, the Prosecutor can proceed provided that a Pre-Trial Chamber approves that move. The Security Council keeps its right to defer investigations for a period of one year.[5]

States parties to the amendmentEdit

As of February 2021, 41 states parties have ratified the amendment.[8] The Rome Statute itself was amended on 8 May 2013 after the amendment came into force for the first state party to ratify it. The Court gained jurisdiction over the crime of aggression on 17 July 2018.

State[8] Ratified Entry into force
  Andorra 26 September 2013 26 September 2014
  Argentina 28 April 2017 28 April 2018
  Austria 17 July 2014 17 July 2015
  Belgium 26 November 2013 26 November 2014
  Bolivia 10 December 2020 10 December 2021
  Botswana 4 June 2013 4 June 2014
  Chile 23 September 2016 23 September 2017
  Costa Rica 5 February 2015 5 February 2016
  Croatia 20 December 2013 20 December 2014
  Cyprus 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
  Czech Republic 12 March 2015 12 March 2016
  Ecuador 25 September 2019 25 September 2020
  El Salvador 3 March 2016 3 March 2017
  Estonia 27 March 2013 27 March 2014
  Finland 30 December 2015 30 December 2016
  Georgia 5 December 2014 5 December 2015
  Germany 3 June 2013 3 June 2014
  Guyana 28 September 2018 28 September 2019
  Iceland 17 June 2016 17 June 2017
  Ireland 27 September 2018 27 September 2019
  Latvia 25 September 2014 25 September 2015
  Liechtenstein 8 May 2012 8 May 2013
  Lithuania 7 December 2015 7 December 2016
  Luxembourg 15 January 2013 15 January 2014
  Malta 30 January 2015 30 January 2016
  Mongolia 18 January 2021 18 January 2022
  Netherlands[C] 23 September 2016 23 September 2017
  North Macedonia 1 March 2016 1 March 2017
  Palestine 26 June 2016 26 June 2017
  Paraguay 5 April 2019 5 April 2020
  Panama 6 December 2017 6 December 2018
  Poland 25 September 2014 25 September 2015
  Portugal 11 April 2017 11 April 2018
  Samoa 25 September 2012 25 September 2013
  San Marino 14 November 2014 14 November 2015
  Slovakia 28 April 2014 28 April 2015
  Slovenia 25 September 2013 25 September 2014
  Spain 25 September 2014 25 September 2015
   Switzerland 10 September 2015 10 September 2016
  Trinidad and Tobago 13 November 2012 13 November 2013
  Uruguay 26 September 2013 26 September 2014

Amendment to article 124 (2015)Edit

On 26 November 2015 during their 14th meeting, the Assembly of States Parties adopted the amendment to article 124 in The Hague in the Netherlands.[6] The amendment deletes article 124 from the Rome Statute.[6] Article 124 is a transitional provision, which allows a state, upon becoming party to the Statute, to declare that it does not accept the jurisdiction of the Court over war crimes committed in its territory or by its nationals for a period of seven years.[18]

States parties to the amendmentEdit

As of January 2021, 15 state parties have ratified the amendment.[9] Per article 121(4) of the Rome Statute, this amendment will enter into force for all state parties to the Rome Statute one year after seven-eighths of states parties (currently 108 states parties) have ratified it.

State[9] Ratified Entry into force
  Andorra 3 November 2020 TBD
  Austria 22 September 2017 TBD
  Belgium 16 May 2019 TBD
  Croatia 27 April 2018 TBD
  France 19 March 2018 TBD
  Finland 23 September 2016 TBD
  Italy 13 April 2018 TBD
  Latvia 24 April 2020 TBD
  Netherlands[D] 20 March 2017 TBD
  Norway 1 July 2016 TBD
  Portugal 11 April 2017 TBD
  Romania 14 June 2018 TBD
  Slovakia 28 October 2016 TBD
  Slovenia 2 April 2019 TBD
   Switzerland 14 December 2018 TBD

Amendment to article 8 (biological weapons) (2017)Edit

On 14 December 2017, during their 16th meeting the Assembly of States Parties adopted the amendment to article 8.[10] The amendment inserted an article defining the use of weapons which use microbial or other biological agents, or toxins as a war crime.[10]

States parties to the amendmentEdit

Because the amendment is to article 8, it will come into force only for those states parties which have ratified it, one year after doing so. As of May 2022, nine state parties have ratified the amendment.[10] The Rome Statute itself was amended on 2 April 2020 after the amendment came into force for the first state party to ratify it.

State[10] Ratified Entry into force
  Croatia 17 May 2021 17 May 2022
  Czech Republic 10 July 2020 10 July 2021
  Latvia 24 April 2020 24 April 2021
  Luxembourg 2 April 2019 2 April 2020
  Netherlands[E] 21 April 2020 21 April 2021
  New Zealand 14 October 2020 14 October 2021
  Norway 22 March 2021 22 March 2022
  Slovakia 19 June 2019 19 June 2020
   Switzerland 7 July 2020 7 July 2021

Amendment to article 8 (non-detectable fragments) (2017)Edit

On 14 December 2017, during their 16th meeting the Assembly of States Parties adopted the amendment to article 8.[11] The amendment inserted an article defining the use of weapons the primary effect of which is to injure by fragments undetectable by x-rays in the human body as a war crime.[11]

States parties to the amendmentEdit

Because the amendment is to article 8, it will come into force only for those states parties which have ratified it, one year after doing so. As of May 2022, nine state parties have ratified the amendment.[11] The Rome Statute itself was amended on 2 April 2020 after the amendment came into force for the first state party to ratify it.

State[11] Ratified Entry into force
  Croatia 17 May 2021 17 May 2022
  Czech Republic 10 July 2020 10 July 2021
  Latvia 24 April 2020 24 April 2021
  Luxembourg 2 April 2019 2 April 2020
  Netherlands[F] 21 April 2020 21 April 2021
  New Zealand 14 October 2020 14 October 2021
  Norway 22 March 2021 22 March 2022
  Slovakia 19 June 2019 19 June 2020
   Switzerland 7 July 2020 7 July 2021

Amendment to article 8 (blinding laser weapons) (2017)Edit

On 14 December 2017, during their 16th meeting the Assembly of States Parties adopted the amendment to article 8.[12] The amendment inserted an article defining the use of blinding laser weapons as a war crime.[12]

States parties to the amendmentEdit

Because the amendment is to article 8, it will come into force only for those states parties which have ratified it, one year after doing so. As of May 2022, nine state parties have ratified the amendment.[12] The Rome Statute itself was amended on 2 April 2020 after the amendment came into force for the first state party to ratify it.

State[12] Ratified Entry into force
  Croatia 17 May 2021 17 May 2022
  Czech Republic 10 July 2020 10 July 2021
  Latvia 24 April 2020 24 April 2021
  Luxembourg 2 April 2019 2 April 2020
  Netherlands[G] 21 April 2020 21 April 2021
  New Zealand 14 October 2020 14 October 2021
  Norway 22 March 2021 22 March 2022
  Slovakia 19 June 2019 19 June 2020
   Switzerland 7 July 2020 7 July 2021

Amendment to article 8 (starvation of civilians) (2019)Edit

On 6 December 2019, at its 9th plenary meeting, the Assembly of States Parties adopted the amendment to article 8 defining the war crime of the intentional use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in armed conflicts not of an international character.[13]

States parties to the amendmentEdit

Because the amendment is to article 8, it will come into force only for those states parties which have ratified it, one year after doing so. As of May 2021, six state parties have ratified the amendment.[13] The Rome Statute itself will be amended on 14 October 2021 after the amendment comes into force for the first state party to ratify it.

State[13] Ratified Entry into force
  Andorra 3 November 2020 3 November 2021
  Croatia 17 May 2021 17 May 2022
  Netherlands[H] 4 December 2020 4 December 2021
  New Zealand 14 October 2020 14 October 2021
  Norway 22 March 2021 22 March 2022
  Portugal 26 May 2021 26 May 2022

Proposed amendmentsEdit

A number of amendments have been proposed by states parties, but have either not been considered or adopted by the Assembly:

  • African Union states parties have proposed allowing a state party that has jurisdiction over a situation before the Court to ask the United Nations Security Council to defer the matter, or alternatively, if the Security Council fails to make a decision the state party can ask the United Nations General Assembly to defer the matter.[19]
  • Kenya proposed several amendments, including making sitting heads of state immune from prosecution, subjecting ICC authorities to prosecution for crimes against the administration of justice, and granting the Independent Oversight Mechanism more authority.[20]
  • Mexico has proposed making the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons a war crime.[19]
  • The Netherlands has proposed adding terrorism as a prosecutable crime.[19]
  • Norway has proposed establishing a mechanism for allowing international or regional organizations to play a role in the enforcement of sentences.[21]
  • Trinidad and Tobago and Belize have proposed adding international drug trafficking as a prosecutable crime.[19]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ An amendment to articles 5, 6, 7, or 8 of the Statute only enters into force for states parties that have ratified the amendment.
  2. ^ The amendment to article 8 (2010) entered into force for Aruba on 21 December 2017; it has not been extended to Curaçao or Sint Maarten.
  3. ^ The amendments on the crime of aggression (2010) entered into force for Aruba on 21 December 2017; it has not been extended to Curaçao or Sint Maarten.
  4. ^ The Netherlands' acceptance of the amendment to article 124 (2015) has not been extended to Aruba or Sint Maarten.
  5. ^ The Netherlands' acceptance of the amendment to article 8 (biological weapons) (2017) has not been extended to Aruba, Curaçao, or Sint Maarten.
  6. ^ The Netherlands' acceptance of the amendment to article 8 (non-detectable fragments) (2017) has not been extended to Aruba, Curaçao, or Sint Maarten.
  7. ^ The Netherlands' acceptance of the amendment to article 8 (blinding laser weapons) (2017) has not been extended to Aruba, Curaçao, or Sint Maarten.
  8. ^ The Netherlands' acceptance of the amendment to article 8 (starvation of civilians) (2019) has not been extended to Aruba, Curaçao, or Sint Maarten.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Articles 121(3), (4), and (6) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  2. ^ Article 121(5) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  3. ^ Article 122(2) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  4. ^ a b c "Resolution RC/Res.5: Amendments to article 8 of the Rome Statute" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2010-06-10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Resolution RC/Res.6: The crime of aggression" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2010-06-10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  6. ^ a b c "Resolution ICC-ASP/14/Res.2: Amendment to article 124 of the Rome Statute" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2015-11-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  7. ^ a b c "Chapter XVIII, Penal Matters 10.a: Amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court". United Nations Treaty Collections. 2021-02-20. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  8. ^ a b c "Chapter XVIII, Penal Matters 10.b: Amendments on the crime of aggression to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2021-02-20. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  9. ^ a b c "Chapter XVIII, Penal Matters 10.c: Amendment to article 124 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2020-11-06. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  10. ^ a b c d e "CHAPTER XVIII, PENAL MATTERS 10. d Amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Weapons which use microbial or other biological agents, or toxins)". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2021-05-19. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  11. ^ a b c d e "CHAPTER XVIII, PENAL MATTERS 10. e Amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Weapons the primary effect of which is to injure by fragments undetectable by x-rays in the human body)". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2021-05-19. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  12. ^ a b c d e "CHAPTER XVIII, PENAL MATTERS 10. f Amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Blinding laser weapons)". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2021-05-19. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  13. ^ a b c d "CHAPTER XVIII, PENAL MATTERS 10. g Amendment to article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Intentionally using starvation of civilians)". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2021-05-27. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  14. ^ "Annex VIII: Elements of crimes corresponding to the proposed amendment contained in annex III to resolution ICC-ASP/8/Res.6" (PDF). International Criminal Court. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  15. ^ "ICC-ASP/8/20: Annex II – Liechtenstein: Proposals for a provision on aggression" (PDF). International Criminal Court. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  16. ^ "State of Palestine becomes the thirtieth State to ratify the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression". United Nations. 29 June 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  17. ^ "Activation of the jurisdiction of the Court over the crime of aggression" (PDF). International Criminal Court#Assembly_of_States_Parties. 14 December 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  18. ^ Article 124 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  19. ^ a b c d "ICC-ASP-NL-03/10-En: ASP Special Edition Newsletter #3" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2010-01-19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  20. ^ Masau, Nzau and Gideon Keter (2013-11-18). "9 AU countries threaten bid to amend ICC regulations". The Star. Nairobi. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
  21. ^ "ICC-ASP-NL-02.b/09-En: ASP Special Edition Newsletter #2" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 2000-12-17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2011-03-16.