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The Rise of Global Terrorism

Question:

Discuss about the Terrorism And The International Criminal Court.

It can be stated that Global terrorism has a seen a significant rise in the last decade. Global acts of terrorism are being reported every year. In numerous regions of the world, acts of global terrorism have become an agenda of discussion and controversy. It can be noted that the international community has taken a lot of measures to prevent and restrain the act of terrorism but significant results of the same are yet to be seen. However it is important to mention that the International Criminal Court has still kept terrorism out of its jurisdiction.

It can be noted that for several years recommendations had been made to the International Criminal Court for the inclusion of terrorism by the state parties. The state parties who voted for the inclusion of terrorism in the Roman statue were Tunisia, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and Cuba. However it can be noted that the proposition of inclusion of terrorism was in contrast with the initial intention of the establishment of the International Criminal Court by Trinidad and Tobago[1].  It was later recognized that there were many complexities involved for the inclusion of terrorism in the International Criminal Court. It can be noted that state parties could not agree on a definition of terrorism. Some state parties suggested that if war crimes, terrorism and drug crimes are to be included in the Roman statute, it would strain the resources of the court in prosecuting such crimes. However it can be noted that many other states suggested that crimes of such severity and heinousness should not be kept out of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. It is to be mentioned that a resolution was adopted at the Roman Conference[2]. The resolution adopted recommended a Review Conference to be held for discussing the possibility of inclusion of terrorism in the jurisdiction of the court.  The inclusion of terrorism failed in the Roman conference due to several reasons. However it can be mentioned that Netherlands during the fourth round of consultations suggested that terrorism should be included in the Roman Statute. It can be noted that the proposal had submitted the proposal to the secretary general of the United Nations. Netherlands had suggested that since there was not clear definition of terrorism, the definition of crime of aggression should be accepted for terrorism. Netherlands had also suggested that an informal working group should be established by the Review conference for examining the extent to which the statute can be adopted for the inclusion of terrorism within the jurisdiction of the International criminal court.

International Criminal Court and Terrorism

It can be mentioned that the failure to include terrorism in the Roman statute of the International Criminal Court was a result of the ambiguous and incomprehensive definition of terrorism[3]. It can pointed out that the article 2(1)b of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism[4] is the first legitimate definition of terrorism. It states that any act caused to bodily injure or kill any individual with the purpose to threaten the population of a particular region or to compel the government of the particular region to act in a particular way or to restrain from doing so is called terrorism. However, it can be noted that the United Nation Security Council stated that terrorism is a threat and danger to achieving worldwide peace and stated that every state of the United Nations must adopt such measures in coherence with the legislation which aim at prohibiting the commencement of such act by enforcing legal provisions[5]. However, it can be noted that the majority of the states of the United Nations have their own definitions of terrorism according to the legal provisions of the respective states. Thus, it can be said that the United Nations has failed to provide a global definition of terrorism whichcan be adopted by the International Criminal Court. Thus, it can be stated that the International Criminal Court only has jurisdiction over the persons who aim to harm the population and the government of any country but fails to address terrorism as a global issue.

According to the Roman Statute, the International Criminal Court has no authority over terrorism[6]. It is to be mentioned that the aforementioned Criminal Court cannot identify terrorism as a distinct offense as the members of the United Nations have different definitions of the same according to their respective legislation. However, it was suggested that terrorism should be given specific definition[7]. It was suggested that terrorism should be put under one of the three categories of crimes as listed in the International Criminal Court.

It is to be noted that the first of the suggestions stated that terrorism should be treated as a separate crime, the second suggestion stated that terrorism should put under the category of six already existing conventions of terrorism. The third suggestion stated that terrorism should be put under the category of using firearms and explosives to promote violence, indiscriminate in nature on the people with the intention to bodily injure the same and to commit indiscriminate killing. However it is to be noted that the suggestions of the states to include terrorism in the Roman statute was rejected by majority of the state parties of the United Nations. There were several reasons for the rejection of inclusion of terrorism in the Roman Statute. It can be notedthat the most important reason for the rejection of inclusion of terrorism in the Roman Statute was lack of proper definition of terrorism and what constitutes the same[8]. Another reason to not include terrorism in the Roman Statute is that a majority of the states of the United Nations held that terrorism does not constitute as great threat to the world as the other heinous crimes as those against humanity, war crimes and mass killing of people for the fulfilment of a political objective[9]. However eventually it was made clear to the world by the acts of terrorism that it is no way a less severe or heinous crime than the aforementioned ones. Another reason for the rejection of terrorism in the Roman Statute was  that terrorism had not been viewed as a global crisis previously. It was viewed as a territorial crime and the same was believed to have no effect on international boundaries[10]. However, it is to be mentioned that with the more frequent occurrences of terrorism acts all over the word the need for global cooperation has been felt to deal with the same. It can be said the drafters of the Roman statute believed that the most atrocious and the most heinous crimes would be the subject matter of the International Criminal Court. They did not want to over burden the International Criminal Court with the acts of Terrorism happening on a small scale just as they did not want to over burden the International Criminal Court with petty crimes.

Conclusion

Thus to conclude it can be stated that Terrorism considered as a treaty crime previously but with the widespread outbreak of terrorism all over the world and the heinousness of the same has shocked the world with its disastrous results. The inclusion of terrorism in the International Criminal Court was prevented due to the lack of an unambiguous and ubiquitous definition. It can be noted, that all the different states of the United Nations had different definitions of Terrorism and therefore arose the problem of accepting a single definition. It can be also noted that terrorism was considered to be global threat to humanity and not considered a heinous crime thus it was kept out of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.     

References

International Convention For The Suppression Of The Financing Of Terrorism (2017) Un.org <https://www.un.org/law/cod/finterr.htm>.

Politi, Mauro. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: a challenge to impunity.Routledge, 2017.

Werle, Gerhard, and Florian Jessberger. Principles of international criminal law.OUP Oxford, 2014.

Politi, Mauro. The International Criminal Court and the Crime of Aggression.Routledge, 2017.

Schabas, William A. The international criminal court: a commentary on the Rome statute.Oxford University Press, 2017.

van der Wilt, Harmen G., and Inez L. Braber. "The case for inclusion of terrorism in the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court." (2014).

Khan, MinhasMajeed, and Abbas Majeed Khan Marwat. "International Criminal Court (ICC): An Analysis of its Successes and Failures and Challenges Faced by the ICC Tribunals for War Crimes." Dialogue (Pakistan) 11.3 (2016).

Aksenova, Marina. "Conceptualizing Terrorism: International Offence or Domestic Governance Tool?." Journal of Conflict and Security  Law 20.2 (2015): 277-299.

International Criminal Court - Some Questions And Answers (2017) Legal.un.org <https://legal.un.org/icc/statute/iccq&a.htm>

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