The Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression was established in 2010 as a project of The Planethood Foundation, a small private foundation founded in 1996 by Benjamin Ferencz, a former Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials and a lifelong advocate of the rule of law in international affairs, and his son, Donald Ferencz, an attorney and international justice educator and advocate.
The Institute was convened by Don as a cooperative network of interested parties to help further dialogue and information-sharing specifically aimed at advancing the goal of criminalising the illegal use of force. The Institute is actively working to increase its effectiveness by partnering and leveraging on a formal basis with other institutions, and it has recently become formally affiliated with Middlesex University School of Law.
It benefits from the advice of its Council of Advisors, comprised of scholars, diplomats, and non-governmental advocates who share a commitment to outlawing the illegal use of force in international affairs, in the hope that criminalisation of acts constituting the illegal use of armed force will deter such illegal acts.
Through the United Nations Charter, virtually all States in the world have expressed their commitment "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war". They have agreed to renounce the illegal threat or use of force, and to settle their disputes "by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered". States have the legal duty to abide by this commitment and the UN Security Council has the primary responsibility to enforce it. The Nuremberg Trials made it clear that criminal justice also has an important role to play for the promotion of peace and the deterrence of acts of aggression – though it remained limited and theoretical for many decades thereafter.
With the 2010 Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the promotion of peace through criminal justice has gained new momentum. States Parties to the ICC decided to empower the Court to hold leaders accountable who are responsible for the most serious forms of the illegal use of force against other States at the 2010 Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. They adopted a definition of the crime of aggression, which is also expected to be incorporated into many domestic criminal codes. They thus created a new mechanism to enforce the most important rule of international law: the prohibition of the illegal use of force under the United Nations Charter. 30 ratifications, as well as a further decision by States Parties in 2017, are required for the ICC take up this new function.
The Global Institute is dedicated to making this new accountability mechanism a reality.
For further information please contact:
Don Ferencz: Donferencz@aol.com
Daphne Demetriou: Daphnedemetriou@gmail.com
Giulia Pecorella: firstname.lastname@example.org