International Criminal Justice
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International Criminal Justice

Legitimacy and Coherence

Edited by Gideon Boas, William A. Schabas and Michael P. Scharf

International criminal justice as a discipline throws up numerous conceptual issues, engaging disciplines such as law, politics, history, sociology and psychology, to name but a few. This book addresses themes around international criminal justice from a mixture of traditional and more radical perspectives.
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Chapter 9: The International Criminal Court and the complexities of international criminal justice

James Potter


A recent significant development in international criminal justice is the adoption of amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute)1 dealing with the crime of aggression. These amendments were adopted at the International Criminal Court’s (‘the Court’) inaugural Review Conference which took place in Kampala from 31 May 2010 to 11 June 2010.2 This chapter looks at the Kampala outcome and focuses on the issue of state consent to the amendments. It is clear that international criminal justice demands that justice be applied to all. In the famous words of American Prosecutor Robert H Jackson during the Nuremberg trials: ‘We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.’3 At the same time, the Court is an international body created by treaty law which has been endowed with jurisdiction within the limits agreed by states in the Rome Statute. To what extent then should the principle that justice be applied equally to all be limited by the notion of state sovereignty and consent to the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression? This issue came to the forefront during the negotiations on the crime of aggression amendments. This chapter will look firstly at the role of state consent in the Rome Statute system of jurisdiction over international crimes

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