Commemoration of International Justice Day
Ten years ago on 17 July 2002, the Rome Statute has entered into force which created the international criminal justice system and founded the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Assembly of the States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted this date as the Day of International Criminal Justice during the Review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala, Uganda in June 2010. With the Kampala Declaration high-level representatives of States Parties;
“decide to celebrate 17 July, the day of the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998, as the Day of International Criminal Justice.”
Although it was criticized with being subject to political manipulation, the influence of the funding countries upon the court and trials. For example, U.S. criticism of the court has also focused on the fairness and even the quality of Judges. After initially agreeing to be a party to ICC for a short time, Israel “unsigned” the Rome Statute because of concerns that “political pressure on the court would lead it to reinterpret international law or to “invent new crimes.” Similarly, China and India have categorically refused to cede to the Rome Statute and have expressed concern over various issues, including powers of the prosecutor and the court’s jurisdiction, among others. Here is a good analysis for further reading.
Nevertheless, to this date, 122 States have joined the Rome Statute, 21 cases in 8 situations have been brought before the International Criminal Court.
- Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic cases are brought by the referral of State Party before the Court.
- Sudan and Libya cases are brought by the referral of UN Security Council before the Court.
- Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire cases are brought by the request of the Court’s Prosecutor.
Finally, here is brief interview with the Mona Rishmawi, Chief of the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch of the UN Human Rights Office. She stated that; “those who commit gross violations of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law that amount to international crimes, such as systematic murder, torture, rape, enforced disappearance, enslavement, and destruction of property now have no safe haven”.