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Luxembourg ratifies the Kampala amendments to the Statute of the International Criminal Court

Published Tuesday January 15 2013

Today at the UN Headquarters in New York, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, H.E. Mr. Jean Asselborn deposited the instruments of ratification of the amendments to the Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the Kampala Review Conference on 10 and 11 June 2010, with the Legal Counsel of the United Nations and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Ms. Patricia O’Brien.

Luxembourg has thus become the fourth State Party to ratify the set of amendments to the Rome Statute adopted by the Kampala Review Conference, i.e. the amendment concerning the crime of aggression and the amendment clarifying the jurisdiction of the Court over the war crimes of employing certain weapons and substances in armed conflicts not of an international character.

The crime of aggression was included in the Rome Statute in 1998, but its definition as well as the conditions for the exercise of the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to this crime required further negotiations that were concluded successfully during the 2010 Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala.

Pursuant to the Rome Statute, the amendments will enter into force for Luxembourg one year after the deposit of the instruments of ratification, on 16 January 2014. The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression when thirty States Parties have ratified the amendments, and subject to a decision of the Assembly of States Parties no earlier than 1 January 2017.

With the deposit of these instruments, Luxembourg underlines its commitment to the rule of law, international criminal justice and the International Criminal Court in particular. Luxembourg thus fulfills another of the pledges it announced at the High-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the rule of law held on 24 September 2012. The amendments have also been fully implemented in Luxembourg’s Criminal Code.

At the Kampala Review Conference, which Minister Asselborn had attended personally, States Parties had expressed their determination to activate the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as early as possible. Luxembourg hopes that its ratification will encourage other States Parties to follow.

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