Book Review: Individual Criminal Liability for the International Crime of Aggression

AuthorBarry de Vries
Published date01 December 2016
Date01 December 2016
Subject MatterBook Review
494 Intersentia
Gerhard Kemp, Indiv idual Criminal Liability for the Inter national Crime of
Aggre ssion, Intersentia, Cambridge, 2 016, xx + 286 pp., €75, ISBN 978–1–78068–
With a  nalisation of a de nition for the crime of aggression at the Kampa la
Conference and the fact that t he International Criminal Court wi ll likely obtai n
jurisdiction over th is crime next year, Gerhard Kemp has put out a new edition of his
book ‘Individual Cri minal Liability for the International Cr ime of Aggression’. With
this book Gerhard Kemp provides a good oversight as to t he development of the crime
of aggression throug h time and critical ly assesses the current de nit ion in lig ht of t his
development.  e author provides a concise and understandable overview of the
di erent approaches to aggression, one from the collective security system a nd the
other from individua l criminal responsibility for t he crime of aggression.
e book is laid out in 5 di  erent parts. Part I gives an i ntroduction to the subject
and lays out the framework and genera l concepts on which the rest of the book is
based. In Part I I the author sheds light on the development of the current collective
security sys tem with an obvious and logical foc us on the UN system.  e added focus
on regional securit y arrangements is a welcome addition and helps to  esh out this
chapter. Within the second chapter the development of the prohibition of the use of
force is discussed and it addresses problematic areas of this prohibition, such as
humanitaria n intervention and the interpretation of the concept of self-defence.
Part III discusses the cri minalisat ion of aggression and the development of
individual cri minal responsibilit y for aggression under Nuremberg and the manner
in which this was consolidated and developed in the post-Nuremberg period.  is
part gives a well-writ ten and quite detailed overview of t he historical development up
to the Rome Statute of the Internationa l Criminal Court.
Part IV is where the author goes in depth into the cri me of aggression under the
International Crimi nal Court. Chapter V concerns the ma nner in which the crime of
aggression became i ncluded under the ICC, whereas chapter VI discuss es the process
of de ning agg ression up to t he Kampala review conference. It is Chapter VII where
the di erences with the  rst edition are perhaps t he clearest, here the de nition
accepted during the Ka mpala Review Conference is discussed a nd critically assessed .
is part of the book is a good in dept h description of the development of the crime
of aggression in the context of t he International Criminal Court and t he discussion
concerning the juris diction over this crime.
Part V is a bit of a divergence from the rest of the book and focuses on national
prosecution possibilities. W hile the chapter states that it wil l assess both national and
regional prosecution, the focus clea rly lies on national prosecution possibilities.  e
regional court ass essment of the African Court on Just ice and Human Rights appears

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