Order Paper and questions

Questions for oral answer

12. International Non-aggression Measures—Government Support

[Sitting date: 22 June 2010. Volume:664;Page:12009. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]

12. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM (Green) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Is the Government committed to ratifying promptly the amendment to the Rome Statute reflecting the resolution adopted by the States parties to the International Criminal Court at their review conference in Kampala on 11 June 2010, incorporating aggression as a justiciable crime?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs) : The Government supports the resolution adopted by the review conference. The aggression amendment itself provides that the court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression is subject to a decision to be taken by the States parties some time after 1 January 2017. The Government does not intend to ratify the amendment until after that decision has been taken.

Dr Kennedy Graham: Is the Minister aware that the fact that the crime will not become justiciable until after that decision in January 2017 in no way precludes any of the Governments that participated in the adoption by consensus 2 weeks ago from ratifying it quickly, before 2017?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: Yes, I am aware of that. The Government wants to be sure that the court, which is a very new institution, is ready to assume the additional burden of the jurisdiction of the crime of aggression before it supports the activation of that jurisdiction.

Dr Kennedy Graham: When that time comes, will such adoption of aggression as a crime leave unaffected the primary responsibility of the Security Council for peace and security, including determining that an act is an act of aggression, or the right of veto held by the five permanent members?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: Yes, I imagine so, although the member is aware of the consensus that was reached on the way in which the jurisdiction is to be exercised.

Dr Kennedy Graham: I seek the leave of the House to table the resolution adopted at Kampala—Resolution RC/Res.6, adopted on 11 June by the review conference.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is no objection.

  • Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

Hon Maryan Street: Does the Government intend to encourage countries, particularly Asian and Pacific countries that are currently not signatories, to sign and ratify the Rome Statute and the amendment on crimes of aggression; if not, why not?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: I have no direct knowledge of the matter the member has raised, although I will say that the New Zealand Government is very pleased that consensus has been reached. Between now and 2017 I think it would make sense to tell other countries about it.