The International Criminal Court initiative investigates the role, responsibilities, and rights of the ICC in the global legal order and continues the “Princeton Process on the Crime of Aggression” dialogue that began in 2004 when LISD first hosted the Intersessional Meeting of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression. This Princeton Process dialogue grew out of the annual Intersessional Meeting of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggressions of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which LISD hosted from 2004-2007.
When the Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted by the Diplomatic Conference in Rome in July 1998, the Court was given jurisdiction over the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as the crime of aggression. Although there was agreement that the Court should have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, no agreement was reached on the definition of this crime. The Preparatory Commission and, thereafter, the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC were given the task of preparing proposals for a provision “defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime.” After the Rome Conference, work on the crime of aggression proceeded steadily, but in very small steps with many contentious issues remaining unresolved. At the September 2003 meeting of the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression, in the context of the Second Assembly of States Parties, interest was expressed in holding an intersessional meeting before the next formal meeting of the Working Group in September 2004. The Special Working Group meetings hosted at Princeton by LISD brought together delegates from ICC state parties, other states, and NGOs who collectively worked to create a definition of the crime of aggression under the ICC Statute.