The International Criminal Court (ICC) now has the power to try individuals for the crime of aggression, representing the culmination of international efforts to define the crime of aggression since the Second World War.
Agreement on the amendment was reached at the Review Conference on the Rome Statute of the ICC in Kampala, Uganda held from 31 May to 11 June 2010.
The changes will ensure that individuals responsible for acts of aggression in manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations can be prosecuted by the ICC.
Three new war crimes were also introduced to the ICC's jurisdiction, including the use of poison and poisoned weapons; asphyxiating poisonous and other gases; and expanding bullets. The use of these weapons will be a war crime regardless of whether they are used in an international armed conflict or an armed conflict within a State.
Welcoming the new offences, the Australian Government has committed an additional $210,000 to support the ICC. The extra funding includes $140,000 for the Trust Fund for Victims, which will assist victims of grave crimes to rebuild their lives and livelihoods; and $70,000 to enable developing countries to attend and fully participate in future meetings of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute.