Cyber-Attacks as the Crime of Aggression and examining the Jurisdiction of International Criminal Court in its Investigations

Document Type : Original Article


Ph.D. in International Law, Islamic Azad University of Najafabad and University Lecturer, Najafabad, Iran


The crime of aggression is one of the crimes that international criminal court can deal with. There is not a decisive definition about the meaning of the crime of aggression at the time of the ratification of the Rome Statute. There was an agreement between the state parties to define the crime of aggression at the time of reviewing the statute in the future. Consequently, the Crime of Aggression was being defined in 2010 under Article 8bis of the International Criminal Court Statute. Although the definition of the crime of aggression does not refer to cyber-attacks, but it seems that some kinds of these attacks according to the Rome Statute and the General Assembly Resolution 3314 of 1974, can be considered as the crime of aggression. In order to assess the cyber-attacks in the context of crime of aggression, these attacks must reach the threshold of the crime of aggression, that is to say, the most serious breach of international law regulations. For committing the crime of aggression, the perpetrators of cyber-attacks need to be aware of the circumstances that lead to the clear violation of International Law which is usually something difficult to be proven. Although some cyber-attacks can be counted as the crime of aggression, it seems that since that cyber space has its own characteristics, the best way to deal with these kinds of attacks is an agreement between states and also allocating the judges in ICC who are specialized in the field of cyberspace.


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