Brett Schaefer’s Critical (from the Right) Take on the ICC Review Conference
It is worth also considering the views of those critical of the entire ICC effort to the define aggression and bring it within the ICC Statute. Brett Schaefer at Heritage offers this final take, which he calls the U.S. effort a qualified success due to its ability to delay implementation and to insert “understandings” into the ICC Statute.
[T]he U.S. was able to insert several “understandings” into the resolution. These understandings affirm that the crime of aggression does not limit or prejudice existing or developing rules of international law for purposes other than the statute; state that the resolution shall not be interpreted as “creating the right or obligation to exercise domestic jurisdiction with respect to an act of aggression committed by another State”; emphasize that a determination of an act of aggression must weigh “all of the circumstances of each particular case” including the gravity of the acts and their consequences; and assert that the character, gravity, and scale of a crime of aggression must all be sufficient to meet the standard of a “manifest” violation of the U.N. Charter. Taken together, these understandings should help guide the court in dismissing lesser, frivolous, or politically motivated allegations of aggression and protect military missions based on self-defense, humanitarian intervention, or other legitimate purposes consistent with the U.N. Charter.