International Criminal Court
26 Nisan 5762
April 8, 2002
Coalition for the ICC Home Page on the
International Criminal Court.
This site is the primary NGO provider of online information about the future International Criminal Court.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) will be a permanent court for trying individuals accused of committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC will be formally established after 60 countries have ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
We are very close to achieving the 60 ratifications needed for the Rome Statute of the ICC to enter into force. According to the Statute, it will "enter into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day following the date of the deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification..."
Following entry into force, the framework of the Court will be put into place and the Court's senior officials elected during an approximate 12-month time period.
MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2 April 2002
60th Ratification of the International Criminal Court Treaty to be Achieved at UN Ceremony
Historic Treaty Event Will Mark Advance in International Justice
What: The United Nations (UN) will host a ceremony marking the historic occasion of the 60th ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the treaty that will create the landmark International Criminal Court (ICC). The treaty event will take place during the ninth UN Preparatory Commission meeting of the ICC (8 – 19 April). Currently, 56 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification of the Rome Statute at the United Nations and 139 countries have signed the treaty.
Why: The deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC will trigger the treaty’s entry into force, which, according to a timetable set forth in the treaty, will commence on 1 July 2002. Entry into force of the Rome Statute will establish the Court’s jurisdiction and create the first permanent, international tribunal capable of trying individuals for the gravest violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Many had predicted that the 60 ratifications necessary for the Rome Statute to enter into force would take decades to achieve. Instead, this historic occasion will take place less then four years after the treaty was adopted in Rome on 17 July 1998. The ICC, which will be an independent body located in The Hague, the Netherlands, has overwhelming and broadly distributed support from governments, with the notable exceptions of the United States, China and Israel.
[QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS on the International Criminal Court
4. Why did some States vote against the Statute?
Seven States voted against the Statute in an unrecorded vote; the names of these countries were not recorded. Three States -- China, USA and Israel -- stated their reasons for voting against the treaty. China indicated its view that the power given to the Pre-Trial Chamber to check the Prosecutor's initiative was not sufficient and that the adoption of the Statute should have been by consensus, not by a vote.
The principal objection of the United States was over the application of the Court's jurisdiction to non- State parties. It also stated that the Statute must recognize the role of the Security Council in determining an act of aggression.
Israel stated that it failed to comprehend why the action of transferring populations into an occupied territory was included in the list of war crimes.
Who: The treaty event will be undertaken in a solemn setting with participation of senior United Nations and government officials.
When: Thursday, 11 April 2002
Where: United Nations headquarters in New York
Special Note: Further detail will follow. For information about how to register for U.N. media accreditation and for background materials including fact sheets and experts lists on the ICC, please visit: http://www.iccnow.org/html/press.html. For UN-related inquiries, please contact Ellen McGuffie at the UN Department of Information by calling (212) 963-0499 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Coalition for the International Criminal Court
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (Coalition) is a network of over 1,000 civil society organizations that support the creation of a permanent, fair and independent International Criminal Court (ICC). Established in 1995, the Coalition is the leading source of information regarding the ICC and the regional organizations that support its formation. For more information about the mission of the Coalition and its member organizations, please visit http://www.iccnow.org .
THE ROME STATUTE
The ICC Statute agreed upon in Rome on July 17, 1998 is comprised of 13 Parts and 128 Articles. The following is a brief outline of the parts and subject matter of the Rome Statute.
PART 1: Establishment of the Court
Part 1 concerns the establishment of the Court and its relationship with the United Nations. The Court is to be established by treaty and based in The Hague, The Netherlands. The relationship of the Court to the UN will be determined by an agreement to be negotiated during upcoming Preparatory Committee meetings.
PART 2: Jurisdiction, Admissibility, and Applicable Law
Part 2 concerns crimes within the Court's jurisdiction, the role of the Security Council, the admissibility of cases, and the applicable law for cases coming before the Court. The Court initially will have jurisdiction over war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Additionally, the Court will exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once agreement can be reached on a definition of this crime at some point in the future. Part 2 defines the crimes within the Court's jurisdiction (and, notably, includes rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or other forms of sexual violence).
Part 3: General Principles of Criminal Law
Part 3 involves principles of criminal law drawn from different legal systems. This section upholds the principle of non-retroactivity, whereby the Court will not have jurisdiction over conduct committed prior to the Statute's entry into force. It recognizes the principle of individual criminal responsibility, which makes it possible to prosecute individuals for serious violations of international law. Part 3 also addresses the responsibility of leaders for actions of subordinates, the age of responsibility, the statute of limitations, and an individual's responsibility for both an act and an omission.
Part 4: Composition and Administration of the Court
Part 4 details the structure of the Court and the qualification and independence of judges.
Part 5: Investigation and Prosecution
Part 5 addresses the investigation of alleged crimes and the process by which the Prosecutor can initiate and carry out investigations. Part 5 also defines the rights of individuals suspected of a crime.
Part 6: The Trial
Part 6 deals with trial proceedings, the question of a trial in the absence of the accused or following an admission of guilt, and the rights and protection of the accused. The Statute states that "everyone shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty in accordance with law." This section also details the rights of victims and witnesses and the ability of the Court to order a guilty person to make reparation and to determine the extent of damages.
Part 7: Penalties
Part 7 covers applicable penalties for persons convicted of a crime, which include: life imprisonment, imprisonment for a designated number of years, and fines, among other sentences. The death penalty is not a sentence of the Court. Part 7 also establishes a trust fund for the benefit of victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and of the families of victims
Part 8: Appeal and Review
Part 8 includes appeal against judgment or sentence, appeal proceedings, the revision of conviction or sentence, and the compensation to a suspect, accused, or convicted person. A person or the Prosecutor may bring an appeal before the Court on grounds that the fairness of the proceedings was affected. The Statute states that anyone wrongfully arrested, detained, or convicted is entitled to compensation from the Court.
Part 9: International Cooperation and Judicial Assistance
Part 9 addresses international cooperation and judicial assistance between States and the Court. It involves the surrender of persons to the Court, the Court's ability to make provisional arrests, and State responsibility to cover costs associated with requests from the Court.
Part 10: Enforcement
Part 10 includes the recognition of judgments, the role of States in enforcement of sentences, the transfer of the person upon completion of a sentence, and parole and commutation of sentences.
Part 11: Assembly of States Parties
Part 11 establishes an Assembly of States Parties, formed by one representative for each State Party, to oversee the various organs of the Court, its budget, and reports and activities of the Bureau of the Assembly. Representatives would have one vote and decisions would be reached either by consensus or some form of a majority vote.
Part 12: Financing of the Court
Part 12 states that funding for the Court shall be provided by three sources: (a) assessed contributions from States Parties; (b) funds provided by the United Nations; and (c) voluntary contributions from governments, international organizations, individuals, and corporations and other entities.
Part 13: Final Clauses
Part 13 addresses the settlement of disputes, reservations and amendments of the Statute, and ratification. Part 13 states that no reservations may be made to the Statute. However, seven years after the Court has entered into force, any State Party may propose amendments to the Statute. This Part calls for the Statute to be open for signature by all States in Rome, at the Food and Agricultural Organization premises, on July 17, 1998 and to remain open for signature until December 31, 2000. The Statute allows for a State Party to withdraw from the statute by notifying the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in writing.
Web Site of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (261k)
Dream of Global Criminal Court Becomes
Thu Apr 11, 2:55 AM ET
By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The dream of creating a permanent court to try the world's most heinous crimes on Thursday becomes a reality, hailed by many as a landmark human rights achievement but scorned by the United States.
At a morning ceremony at U.N. headquarters, 10 countries bring the total number of countries to ratify a Rome treaty establishing the International Criminal Court to 66 -- six more than needed to bring the treaty into force on July 1.
The 10 nations -- Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Congo, Ireland, Jordan, Mongolia, Niger, Romania and Slovakia -- deposit their papers all at the same time so the honor of being the 60th state does not go only to one country.
The tribunal is expected to go into operation next year in The Hague, Netherlands, a belated effort to fulfill the promise of the Nuremberg trials 56 years ago, when Nazi leaders were prosecuted for new categories of war crimes against humanity.
"It is an extremely significant moment in world history, the achievement of this court," said David Scheffer, the former ambassador at large for war crimes who led U.S. negotiations for the court under the Clinton administration.
The new tribunal has jurisdiction only when countries are unwilling or unable to prosecute individuals for the world's most serious atrocities: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other gross human rights abuses.
Cases can be referred by a country that has ratified the treaty, the U.N. Security Council or the tribunal's prosecutor after approval from three judges. But the court is not retroactive and cannot probe crimes committed before July 1.
In a rebuff to its European allies, a major force behind the court, the Bush administration rejected the entire concept of a permanent international war crimes tribunal.
And it is considering withdrawing former President Bill Clinton's signature from the Rome treaty, even though Clinton did not submit it to Congress for ratification, fearing U.S. soldiers abroad would be subjected to frivolous prosecutions.
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