The Rome legislation, sometimes referred to as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, was ratified by 120 States on July 17, 1998, in Rome. This legislation established the International Criminal Court. Following the Rome Statute’s implementation on July 1, 2002, States made the historic decision to submit to the permanent jurisdiction of an international criminal court in order to prosecute those responsible for the most heinous crimes committed on their soil or by citizens of their countries. National courts are not superseded by the International Criminal Court. As to the Rome Statute, it is the responsibility of each State to utilize its judicial authority over those accountable for transnational crimes.

 Only in cases where a State is incapable or unwilling to conduct a thorough investigation and bring charges against the offenders may the International Criminal Court step in. The principal aim of the International Criminal Court is to assist in terminating the impunity of those who commit the most heinous crimes that are of concern to the global community, hence aiding in the prevention of those crimes.

 Ensuring that international justice is upheld and respected for a long time may be made possible by an informed public. This booklet’s goal is to improve public knowledge about the International Criminal Court by addressing the most common queries concerning the Court.


The International Criminal Court, also known as “the ICC” is an ongoing international court tasked with looking into, trying, and convicting those who are alleged to have committed the most serious crimes that the world community finds worrisome, including crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and aggression.


The battles that characterized the twentieth century saw the commission of some of the most horrific atrocities. Regrettably, a great deal of these transgressions of international law go unpunished. The Second World War led to the founding of the Tokyo and Nuremberg courts. Following the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly acknowledged the necessity of establishing a permanent international court to address the types of crimes that had recently been committed. After the Cold War ended, the concept of an international criminal justice system reappeared. After the Cold War, a new international criminal justice system arose. However, the world was seeing the report of horrible atrocities in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia while UN deliberations on the ICC Statute were taking place. The United Nations Security Council created an ad hoc tribunal for each of these circumstances in reaction to these crimes. The decision to hold the meeting that founded the ICC in Rome during the summer of 1998 was definitely greatly influenced by these occurrences.


A meeting of 160 States formed the first permanent international criminal court based on a treaty on July 17, 1998. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the name of the agreement that was approved at the meeting. It lays forth the offenses that come within the ICC’s authority, the protocol guidelines, and the ways in which States might work with the ICC, among other things. The States Parties are the nations that have ratified these regulations and are represented in the Assembly of States Parties. More than 120 States signed the  Rome Statute, representing all continents including Africa, the Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, North America.

  • Who can be prosecuted before ICC?

People are prosecuted by the ICC, not organizations or nations. Any person who is suspected of committing crimes within ICC jurisdiction may be hauled before the ICC. Actually, the prosecuting policy of the Office of the Prosecutor is to concentrate on individuals who, in light of the proof it has acquired, have the most responsibility for the crimes; it disregards any official position that the suspected offenders may hold.


The Court’s mandate is to trial people (as opposed to States) and punish them accountable for the most horrific offenses that affect the worldwide society: crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and aggression.


Three judges, the President and two Vice-Presidents, are chosen for a maximum of two, three-year periods by a clear majority of the Court’s eighteen justices. Except for the Office of the Prosecutor, the Presidency is in charge of running the Court. It aids in the organization of the justices’ work and serves as the Court’s public face. In addition, the Presidency is in charge of additional duties including making sure court-imposed punishments are enforced.

The Pre-Trial Division, which consists of a minimum of six judges, the Trial Division, which consists of at least six judges, and the Appeals Division, which consists of five judges, are the three judicial divisions of the Court to which the eighteen judges, including the three judges of the Presidency, are allocated. The Pre-Trial Chambers, which consist of one or three judges each, the Trial Chambers, which consist of three judges each, and the Appeals Chamber, which is made up of the five judges of the Appeals Division, are the Chambers to which they are assigned. The following lists the judges’ duties and responsibilities according to the Pre-Trial, Trial, and Appeals Chamber categories.


The Office of the Prosecutor may be asked to conduct an inquiry by any State Party to the Rome Statute. A State that is not a party to the Statute may also acknowledge that the ICC has jurisdiction over crimes perpetrated on its soil or by one of its citizens, and it may ask the Office of the Prosecutor to launch an inquiry. Another option for referring a problem to the Court is through the UN Security Council.


The Court is taking part in the worldwide effort to eradicate impunity, and it hopes to do this by using international criminal justice to hold offenders liable and contribute to the prevention of future crimes.
These objectives are outside the Court’s purview. It aims to supplement national courts rather than to supplant them as a court of last resort. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first permanent international criminal court in history, operating under the Rome Statute, an international treaty.



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