Yuan Ji


On January 26, 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC)

commenced the trial of Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia leader whose

followers have been accused of gross human rights violations including

rape, ethnic massacre, torture, and conscription of child soldiers. This was

a noteworthy day in the history of international criminal justice, as the

Lubanga trial was the first trial held at the ICC since the Court came into

existence almost seven years ago. This year is also significant because the

Rome Statute grants the ICC jurisdiction over aggression, a term to be

defined no earlier than seven years after the Statute goes into effect, and

July 2009 will mark the Statute's seven-year anniversary. In this context,

the recent publication of Michael Struett's The Politics of Constructing the

International Criminal Court comes as a timely analysis of and tribute to the

Rome Statute, whose ratification on July 1, 2002 activated the ICC's

existence in international law and global governance.