Regional Court with Jurisdiction over International Crimes


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the primary court with jurisdiction over international crimes. It is a permanent international tribunal established by the Rome Statute, which entered into force on July 1, 2002. The ICC has the authority to prosecute individuals for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

The ICC is based in The Hague, Netherlands, and it has jurisdiction over individuals from member states of the ICC or for crimes committed on the territory of member states. The court operates independently of the United Nations, although it has a cooperative relationship with the UN. Its jurisdiction is complementary to national criminal jurisdictions, meaning that it steps in when national authorities are unwilling or unable to prosecute such crimes.

It’s important to note that while the ICC is the primary court for international crimes, there have been other ad hoc or specialized international criminal tribunals created in the past for specific conflicts or regions. For example, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) were established by the UN Security Council to address war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, respectively. However, these ad hoc tribunals have mostly completed their work, and the ICC now serves as the principal court for international crimes.

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