Sunday, 4 September 2011

Rome Statute (ICC)

Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome in 1998 and entered into force in 2002.  The statute establishes the court's functions, jurisdiction and structure. As of Aug 2011, 117 states have become party to the statute. In 2012 the ICC is also celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based international criminal court. The ICC is an independent international organisation, and is not part of the United Nations system, but maintains a cooperative relationship with the UN. Its seat is at The Hague in the Netherlands. Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

Under the Rome Statute, the ICC can only investigate and prosecute in situations where states are unable or unwilling to do so themselves. The treaty entered into force on 1 July 2002;[10] the ICC can only prosecute crimes committed on or after that date. There are 18 judges.

According to the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor can initiate an investigation on the basis of a referral from any State Party or from the United Nations Security Council. In addition, the Prosecutor can initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court received from individuals or organisations (“communications”). Investigations and prosecutions are being initiated in cases from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Darfur, and Kenya



  1. is India part of it? if not why?

  2. The government of India has consistently opposed the Court. It abstained in the vote adopting of the statute in 1998, saying it objected to:[57]
    The broad definition adopted of crimes against humanity
    The right given to the Security Council to refer cases, delay investigations and bind non-State Parties.
    The use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction not being explicitly outlawed
    Other anxieties about the Court concern:
    How the principle of complementarity would be applied to the Indian criminal justice system
    The inclusion of non-international conflicts - and hence Kashmir and other disputes within India - in the category of war crimes
    The power of the prosecutor to initiate prosecutions[58]

  3. The ICC gave its first verdict in March 2012, by indicting Thomas Lubanga of crimes of recruiting children in war.
    Read more at:

  4. Evaluation
    - set stage for prosecution for war crimes
    - inability to arrest long-time fugitives
    - complaint that it is too focused on african countries.