The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that is responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.
Key points about the International Criminal Court (ICC):
- Establishment: The ICC was established by the Rome Statute, which was adopted on July 17, 1998, and entered into force on July 1, 2002. The Rome Statute has been ratified by 123 countries (as of September 2021).
- Jurisdiction: The ICC has jurisdiction over individuals who commit crimes within the territory of states that are party to the Rome Statute or individuals who are citizens of states that are party to the Rome Statute, regardless of where the crimes were committed. The ICC can also investigate and prosecute crimes referred to it by the United Nations Security Council.
- Structure: The ICC is composed of four main organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. The Presidency consists of the President and two Vice-Presidents, who are responsible for the overall administration of the Court. The Judicial Divisions comprise the judges who hear and decide on cases. The Office of the Prosecutor investigates and prosecutes individuals accused of crimes, and the Registry provides administrative support to the Court.
- Cases and Trials: The ICC has jurisdiction over three types of crimes: genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Since its establishment, the ICC has opened investigations into several situations, including conflicts in countries like Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan (Darfur), Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Georgia. It has also conducted trials and issued verdicts against individuals accused of committing these crimes.
- Critics and Challenges: The ICC has faced criticism and challenges since its inception. Some critics argue that it has disproportionately focused on African cases and not pursued cases against powerful states. The ICC’s effectiveness has been hindered by the non-cooperation of certain countries and the lack of enforcement mechanisms. Additionally, some states, including the United States, China, Russia, and India, are not party to the Rome Statute and therefore do not fall under the ICC’s jurisdiction.
It’s important to note that as an AI, I do not have real-time information, and there may have been developments related to the International Criminal Court since my knowledge cutoff in September 2021. For the most up-to-date information, it is recommended to refer to official ICC sources and news outlets.