Are all wars aggressive? Or are some just? What does it mean for a state to wage a just war, and how do we punish those who wage aggressive wars?
These are questions that the international community continues to wrestle with. On July 17, 2018, new light was shed on this distinction when the International Criminal Court (ICC) finally acquired jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. Both the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, created after World War II, had jurisdiction to hold individuals criminally responsible for the aggressive military policies of the Japanese and German regimes. Nonetheless, international consensus on the definition of the crime of aggression has proven elusive for half a century. This disagreement over the crime of aggression was a major obstacle to the formation of the ICC in 2002. It took a further eight years before the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute were adopted, and an additional eight years before these amendments came into force, creating a definition of the crime of aggression for the Rome Statute of the ICC.