Aggression (Fr.:aggression, Gr.: επίθεση, Alb.: Agresion) [See also: crimes against peace, use of force, international crime] = the use of force by a state against the sovereignty, integrity or political independence of another state. It is considered the most dangerous form of the illegal use of force. According to the United Nations, the following constitute acts of aggression: the invasion or attack by the armed forces of a state to the territory of another state; bombardment by the armed forces of a state on the territory of another state; the act of a state allowing its territory to be used by another state for committing an act of aggression against a third state; port blockade; sending organised armed groups or mercenaries to the territory of another state.

Even though the crime of aggression falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court according to the Rome Statute, the Court cannot exercise this jurisdiction until January 1, 2017, when the 30 States Parties will ratify the definition of this crime, as adopted by resolution in Kampala in 2010.

Useful links

Legislation - Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, 1968 [English] - General Assembly resolution 3314, Definition of Aggression (14 December 1974) [English] - Council Decision 2003/335/JHA of 8 May 2003 on the investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes [English, Deutsch, French, Spanish] - Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (last amended 2010), Article 5 [English]

Organisations and associations - International Criminal Court - The Global Campaign For Ratification and Implementation of the Kampala Amendments on the Crime of Aggression - Coalition for the International Criminal Court - International Crimes Database

Online publications - Andrada Florea, 2012, Individuals as Subjects in International Law, [English] -

Matthew Gillett, 2013, The Anatomy of an International Crime: Aggression at the International Criminal Court, International Criminal Law Review, Vol. 13, Issue 4 [English] - Mary Ellen O`Connell, Mirakmal -Harold Hongju Koh, 2015, The Crime of Aggression: The United States Perspective, Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository [English]

Niyazmatov, 2012, What is Aggression? Comparing the Jus Ad Bellum and the ICC Statute, Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 10 [English] - Johan Van der Vyver, 2010, Prosecuting the Crime of Aggression in the International Criminal Court, University of Miami National Security & Armed Conflict Law Review, Vol. 1 [English] -Julie Veroff, 2016, Reconciling the Crime of Aggression and Complementarity: Unaddressed Tensions and a Way Forward, The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 125 No. 3[English]

Case Law [English]Publications:

Craciun L., 2014, Drept international umanitar, Hamangiu [Romanian]

Popescu E., 2011, Drept international umanitar, Universul juridic [Romanian]

May L., 2008, Aggression and crimes against peace, Cambridge University Press [English]


By Mădălina Enea