Criminal Responsibility for the Crime of Aggression: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Criminal Responsibility for the Crime of Aggression

1st Edition

By Patrycja Grzebyk


394 pages

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Since the Nuremberg trial, the crime of aggression has been considered one of the gravest international crimes. However, since the 1940s no defendants have been charged with this crime, with some states actively opposing the notion of punishing aggression. The option of trying an individual for aggression is expressly included in the statute of the International Criminal Court. In 2010 the Assembly of States Parties adopted a definition of the crime of aggression and conditions of the exercise of jurisdiction over this crime by the Court. The Assembly also agreed that the decision on including the crime of aggression within the Court’s jurisdiction would be made in 2017 at the earliest. It is still internationally debatable whether the criminalisation of aggression is an outcome to strive for, or whether its abandonment is more preferable.

In Criminal Responsibility for the Crime of Aggression, Patrycja Grzebyk explores the scope of criminal responsibility of individuals for crimes of aggression and asks why those responsible for aggression are not brought to justice. The book first works to identify the legal norms that define and delegalise aggression, before moving to determine the basis and scope for the criminalisation of aggression. The book then goes on to identify the key risks and difficulties inherent in trials for aggression.

Following a string of awards in Poland, including the Manfred Lachs Prize for the best first book on public international law, this cutting investigation of aggression is now deservedly made available to the wider world. In its extensive analysis of international trials on aggression, and its synthesis of legal, political and historical rhetoric, this book offers broad and striking insight into the criminal responsibility of individuals on a world stage.


"Criminal Responsibility for the Crime of Aggression is a well-researched study…(and) this work is a welcome addition to the literature on aggression".

- Federica Paadeu, Queens College, Cambridge, UK

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Part 1: Outlawing aggression 1. War as an institution of law 2. The notion of aggression Part 2: Criminalisation of aggression 3. Legal basis for criminalising aggression 4. Trials of individuals charged with the crime of aggression 5. The scope of individual criminal responsibility Part 3: Difficulties and risks 6. Procedural difficulties 7. Impact of aggression trials

About the Author

Patrycja Grzebyk is Assistant Professor at the University of Warsaw, Poland.

About the Series

Routledge Research in International Law

The series offers a space for new and emerging scholars of international law to publish original arguments, as well as presenting alternative perspectives from more established names in international legal research.  Works cover both the theory and practice of international law, presenting innovative analyses of the nature and state of international law itself as well as more specific studies within particular disciplines. The series will explore topics such as the changes to the international legal order, the processes of law-making and law-enforcement, as well as the range of actors in public international law. The books will take a variety of different methodological approaches to the subject including interdisciplinary, critical legal studies, feminist, and Third World approaches, as well as the sociology of international law. Looking at the past, present and future of international law the series reflects the current vitality and diversity of international legal scholarship.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Law Enforcement