This presentation will argue that the ICC’s newly-adopted crime of aggression is useless, anachronistic, and yet beautiful. The crime is useless because the jurisdictional regime adopted by the Assembly of States Parties ensures that the Court will never prosecute anyone for aggression. The crime is anachronistic because, since the Vietnam War, the international community has largely shifted its attention from preventing aggression to limiting atrocity. But the activation of the crime is also beautiful, because it culminates seven decades of legal activism and reflects the international community’s most utopian longing – for a world free from the scourge of war. For all its uselessness and anachronism, therefore, the crime serves as an important reminder of how desiccated the international community’s response to war has become.
A light lunch will be served.