Disclosure of information relating to government policy on enacting the crime of aggression

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

Under the terms of the FoI Act 2000, I seek disclosure of information about whether the government has drafted a policy to enact domestic legislation to prosecute the crime of aggression- now one of the 'core' crimes under the Statute of Rome. The UK is a ratifying party to the Statute of Rome.
The UK has ratified the 'complementarity' articles of the Statute of Rome, which create an obligation to legislate domestically for prosecution of the crime- (national courts constituting primary jurisdictions for such prosecution under 'complementarity').
If a policy to domestically prosecute aggression has not been fully drafted, I request information about whether a policy is in the process of being drafted.
As the crime of aggression has been activated as a core crime with a statutory definition for prosecution in the Rome Statute for more than two years, I seek an answer, if there is no policy in the pipeline for domestic prosecution, for why the government has not started drafting a policy to comply with the Statute.
I have previously submitted this request to the Attorney General's Office who have replied that the subject matter raised falls under the FCO's policy remit.
Yours faithfully,
Christopher Lamb

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

FOI-DPA PMCS (Sensitive),

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References

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Central FOI Unit,

Our ref: FOI2020/11590

Dear Mr Lamb,

Thank you for your FOI request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
We apologise for the delay in our reply.

We received your request on 12th June It has been assigned a unique
reference number (above).

The FCO is endeavouring to meet its obligations to respond to requests
made under the Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information
Regulations and Data Protection Act. Please note, however, that the
COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a significant impact on our ability to
respond to your request within the statutory deadline.

Please also note that we are not currently able to access any of our paper
records. If your request requires such access, we will be unable to
process it further for the time being.

We thank you for your patience at this difficult time.

Yours sincerely,

Central FOI Unit

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Central FOI Unit,

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb,

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request
FOI2020/11590, received 12th June. Please find our response attached.

Yours sincerely,

Central FOI Unit

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Foreign and Commonwealth Office,
Thank you for your e-mail. I seek an internal review.
In his written statement of 17 July 2018, 'UK Support and Funding for International Criminal Justice', Foreign Secretary at the time, Jeremy Hunt, acknowledged that the ICC is a complementary (or secondary) court to domestic courts. He further stated:
'In December 2017, the ICC Assembly of States Parties agreed to activate the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. It did so on the basis that all States Parties explicitly agreed and confirmed in a consensus-based decision that, in the case of a state referral or proprio mutu investigation, the Court shall not exercise its jurisdiction regarding a crime of aggression when committed by a national, or on the territory, of a State Party that has not ratified or accepted the relevant amendments to the Rome Statute. The UK has no plans to ratify the crime of aggression amendments and welcomes the decision as an authoritative, unqualified and clear interpretation of the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression, in accordance with article 121 paragraph 5 of the Rome Statute. The activation of the Court’s jurisdiction for this crime takes place today'.
My request does not refer to what was agreed to or not about the ICC's scope of jurisdiction under the terms of ratification of the Kampala Amendments. My request refers to duties of a ratifying state party to the 2002 Statute of Rome under complementarity Articles to draft domestic legislation to prosecute what is now activated within the Statute as a core international crime. Refusal to ratify the aggression amendments on the grounds of opposing specific technical aspects of the ICCs jurisdiction does not absolve the UK from a duty to incorporate the crime of aggression, as an activated core international crime, in national legislation for prosecution of nationals in domestic courts.
Refusal to do this is a potential breach of the complementarity Articles in the Statute of Rome.

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

Central FOI Unit,

Dear Mr Lamb,

Thank you for your request for an internal review of our response to your
FOI Request Ref FOI2020/11590.

We received your request on 13th July and it has been assigned a unique
reference number above. We will aim to respond by 10th August

Please note, however, that reprioritisation of resources due to the
COVID-19 crisis, and measures we are required to take to prevent the
spread of the virus, continue to have an impact on our ability to respond
to requests within the statutory deadline. Thank you for your FOI request
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We have significantly reduced on-site working which will mean delays to
responses which require access to paper records.

We are endeavouring to process requests as quickly as possible, and
appreciate your patience at this time.

Yours sincerely

Central FOI Unit

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Central FOI Unit,

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb,

I am writing in response to your internal review request IR2020/14131,
received 13th July. Please find attached our response.

Yours sincerely,

Central FOI Unit

Foreign and Commonwealth Office