The Crime of Aggression and Humanitarian Intervention on Behalf of Women

Citation:

Schaack, Beth. 2011. “The Crime of Aggression and Humanitarian Intervention on Behalf of Women.” International Criminal Law Review 11 (3): 477–93.

Author: Beth Schaack

Abstract:

This article is part of a larger project to analyse the rarely-considered gender aspects of the crime of aggression and to explore whether or not the amendments adding the crime of aggression to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) represent an advancement for women. This piece focuses on the potential for the new provisions to chill bona fide exercises of humanitarian intervention given that (1) the crime is expansively drafted to potentially cover all uses of sovereign force, (2) delegates rejected efforts by the United States to include an express exception for military operations launched to prevent the commission of other crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC, and (3) other proposals that would have prevented humanitarian interventions from being considered ‘acts of aggression’ were not fully explored or implemented. The article acknowledges that feminist theory may never fully come to terms with a notion of humanitarian intervention given the doctrine’s valorisation of militarism, especially in light of the fact that women are so often excluded from decisions about uses of force. It nonetheless argues that if we want to hold out the possibility of humanitarian intervention being deployed in defense of women, elements of the new provisions (such as the terms ‘manifest’, ‘character’, ‘gravity’, and ‘consequences’) should be interpreted to exclude situations involving the nascent responsibility to protect doctrine.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, International Law, International Criminal Law, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism

Year: 2011

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