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The International Criminal Court

    The International Criminal Court: Overview

    The establishment of a new permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002 represents a major breakthrough in international justice. The ICC is the world’s first permanent, international judicial body capable of bringing perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, to justice and providing reparation to victims when states are unable or unwilling genuinely to do so.

    Since the adoption of the treaty establishing the ICC (known as the Rome Statute), almost two-thirds of UN member states have ratified it. Only a handful of countries have refused outright to join the Court – although countries like the United States of America have shown increasing support for the work of the Court over time as it has proved to be an effective tool in the fight against impunity.

    To ensure the success of the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International campaigns for:

    • All governments to ratify the Rome Statute to ensure that it has the broadest jurisdiction.
    • All governments to enact effective implementing legislation ensuring that they can prosecute the crimes before national courts and cooperate fully with the Court.
    • The Assembly of States Parties made up of countries that have ratified the Rome Statute to provide full political and financial support, as well as full oversight, of the Court.
    • All governments to cooperate fully with the Court in investigating and prosecuting the crimes.
    • The Court to investigate and prosecute crimes in accordance with the highest standards of international justice.

    Photo: Graffiti on a wall in Manatuto, Timor-Leste taken in March 2001. (c) Amnesty International