The Human Dimension of the Crime of Aggression

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 13:00to14:30
Chancellor Day Hall Stephen Scott Seminar Room (OCDH 16), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism welcomes Chiara Redaelli (Visiting Research Fellow - Harvard Law School; Research Fellow - Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law & Human Rights).


This lecture will investigate the effects of the humanization of international law on the crime of aggression. In its traditional understanding, aggression is ‘the supreme international crime’ aimed at protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. In the aftermath of the World War II, the humanization of international law has brought to the fore genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

As the focus has shifted on crimes directed at protecting of human beings, the crime of aggression has gradually lost its central role and has lived in a legal limbo. Nevertheless, it has not remained immune from a humanitarian sensitivity that has pervaded international criminal law. Ultimately, this lecture will demonstrate that human rights, more than the maintenance of peace per se, have informed the crime of aggression. Furthermore, the crime of aggression has shifted from a crime against negative peace, i.e. absence of war, to a crime against positive peace, a notion that encompasses the protection of fundamental human rights.

About the speaker

Chiara Redaelli is a Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy, where she works for the Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC). Her areas of expertise include international humanitarian law, armed conflicts, non-State actors, jus ad bellum,and  international human rights law. She formerly worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh) and Beijing (China). She defended her PhD (summa cum laude) in public international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in September 2018. Her doctoral research investigated how the human rights paradigm has affected the international legal regulation of interventions in non-international armed conflicts.

This event is eligible for inclusion as 1.5 hours of continuing legal education as reported by members of the Barreau du Québec.

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