Crime of Aggression
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03Jul33


London Convention Relating to the Definition of Aggression


|1| Traduction. Translation.

No. 3391. Convention |2| for the Definition of Aggression. Signed at London, July 3rd, 1933.

French official text communicated by the Roumanian Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary accredited to the League of Nations, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, and by the Permanent Delegate of Finland accredited to the League of Nations. The registration of this Convention took place March 29th, 1934.


HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ROUMANIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ESTONIAN REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE LATVIAN REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE POLISH REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC, THE CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY THE SHAH OF PERSIA, AND HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF AFGHANISTAN;

Being desirous of consolidating the peaceful relations existing between their countries;

Mindful of the fact that the Briand-Kellogg Pact, of which they are signatories, prohibits all aggression;

Deeming it necessary, in the interests of the general security, to define aggression as specifically as possible, in order to obviate any pretext whereby it might be justified;

And noting that all States have an equal right to independence, security, the defence of their territories, and the free development of their institutions;

And desirous, in the interest of the general peace, to ensure to all peoples the inviolability of the territory of their countries;

And judging it expedient, in the interest of the general peace, to bring into force, as between their countries, precise rules defining aggression, until such time as those rules shall become universal;

Have decided, with the aforesaid objects, to conclude the present Convention, and have duly authorised for the purpose:

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ROUMANIA:

    M. Nicholas TITULESCU, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE ESTONIAN REPUBLIC:

    Dr. Oskar KALLAS, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in London;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE LATVIAN REPUBLIC:

    M. Waldemaras SALNAIS, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE POLISH REPUBLIC:

    M. Edouard RACZYNSKI, Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC:

    Tevfik RÜTÜ Bey, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

THE CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS:

    M. Maxime LITVINOFF, People's Commissary for Foreign Affairs;

HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY THE SHAH OF PERSIA:

    Fatollah Khan NOURY ESFANDIARY, Chargé d'Affaires in London;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF AFGHANISTAN:

    Ali MOHAMMED Khan, Minister of Education;

Who have agreed on the following provisions:

Article I.

Each of the High Contracting Parties undertakes to accept in its relations with each of the other Parties, from the date of the entry into force of the present Convention, the definition of aggression as explained in the report dated May 24th, 1933, of the Committee on Security Questions (Politis report) to the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments, which report was made in consequence of the proposal of the Soviet delegation.

Article II.

Accordingly, the aggressor in an international conflict shall, subject to the agreements in force between the parties to the dispute, be considered to be that State which is the first to commit any of the following actions:

    (1) Declaration of war upon another State;
    (2) Invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State;
    (3) Attack by its land, naval or air forces, with or without a declaration of war, on the territory, vessels or aircraft of another State;
    (4) Naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another State;
    (5) Provision of support to armed bands formed in its territory which have invaded the territory of another State, or refusal, notwithstanding the request of the invaded State, to take, in its own territory, all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection.

Article III.

No political, military, economic or other considerations may serve as an excuse or justification for the aggression referred to in Article II. (For examples, see Annex.)

Article IV.

The present Convention shall be ratified by each of the High Contracting Parties in accordance with its laws.

The instruments of ratification shall be deposited by each of the High Contracting Parties with the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

As soon as the instruments of ratification have been deposited by two of the High Contracting Parties, the present Convention shall come into force as between those two Parties. The Convention shall come into force as regards each of the other High Contracting Parties when it deposits its instruments of ratification.

Each deposit of instruments of ratification shall immediately be notified by the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to all the signatories of the present Convention.

Article V.

The present Convention has been signed in eight copies, of which each of the High Contracting Parties has received one.

In faith whereof the above-named Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention and have thereto affixed their seals.

Done in London, July 3rd, 1933.

(L. S.) (Signed) N. TITULESCU.
(L. S.) (Signed) O. KALLAS.
(L. S.) (Signed) Waldemaras SALNAIS.
(L. S.) (Signed) E. RACZYNSKI.
(L. S.) (Signed) Tevfik RÜTÜ.
(L. S.) (Signed) Maxime LITVINOFF.
(L. S.) (Signed) Ali MOHAMMED Khan.
(L. S.) (Signed) F. NOURY ESFANDIARY.


ANNEX
TO ARTICLE III OF THE CONVENTION RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF AGGRESSION.

The High Contracting Parties signatories of the Convention relating to the definition of aggression,

Desiring, subject to the express reservation that the absolute validity of the rule laid down in Article III of that Convention shall be in no way restricted, to furnish certain indications for determining the aggressor,

Declare that no act of aggression within the meaning of Article II of that Convention can be justified on either of the following grounds, among others

A. The internal condition of a State :

E.g., its political, economic or social structure ; alleged defects in its administration; disturbances due to strikes, revolutions, counter-revolutions, or civil war.

B. The international conduct of a State :

E.g., the violation or threatened violation of the material or moral rights or interests of a foreign State or its nationals; the rupture of diplomatic or economic relations ; economic or financial boycotts; disputes relating to economic, financial or other obligations towards foreign States ; frontier incidents not forming any of the cases of aggression specified in Article II.

The High Contracting Parties further agree to recognise that the present Convention can never legitimate any violations of international law that may be implied in the circumstances comprised in the above list.

(L. S.) (Signed) N. TITULESCU.
(L. S.) (Signed) O. KALLAS.
(L. S.) (Signed) Waldemaras SALNAIS.
(L. S.) (Signed) E. RACZYNSKI.
(L. S.) (Signed) Tevfik RÜTÜ.
(L. S.) (Signed) Maxime LITVINOFF.
(L. S.) (Signed) Ali MOHAMMED Khan.
(L. S.) (Signed) F. NOURY ESFANDIARY.

PROTOCOL OF SIGNATURE.

It is hereby agreed between the High Contracting Parties that should one or more of the other States immediately adjacent to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics accede in the future to the present Convention, the said accession shall confer on the State or States in question the same rights and shall impose on them the same obligations as those conferred and imposed on the ordinary signatories.

Done at London on July 3rd, 1933.

(Signed) Maxime LITVINOFF.
S. SALNAIS.
N. TITULESCO.
Ali MOHAMMAD.
F. NOURY ESFANDIARY.
O. KALLAS.
E. RACZYNSKI.
T. RÜTÜ.

[Source: League of Nations, Convention for the Definition of Aggression. Signed at London, July 3rd, 1933. League of Nations Treaty Series No. 3391, 1934, pp. 69-77]


Notes:

1. Traduit par le Secrétariat de la Société des Nations, à titre d'information.
Translated by the Secretariat of the League of Nations, for information. [Back]

2. Deposit of ratifications in Moscow:

ROUMANIA October 16th, 1933.
POLAND October 16th, 1933.
UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS October 16th, 1933.
AFGHANISTAN October 20th, 1933.
PERSIA November 16th, 1933
LATVIA December 4th, 1933.
ESTONIA December 4th, 1933.
TURKEY March 23rd, 1934.

   Accession :

FINLAND January 31st, 1934.
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Crime of Aggression
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