Detailed International Criminal Court in 2021

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent international court formed to investigate, prosecute and start trials against individuals that are accused of committing the most serious crimes which is of concern to the international community as a whole

MandateInternational Criminal Court is an intergovernmental, international tribunal for Criminal prosecution of individuals (for action against nations there is ICJ) for four main crimes namely:-
1. Genocide,
2. War crimes,
3. Crimes against humanity
4. Crime of aggression.
International Criminal Court is the first permanent, treaty based, international court formed to help end impunity for the Culprits of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
EstablishedInternational Criminal Court was formed in year 2002 by the Rome statue.
HQInternational Criminal Court is situated in Hague, Netherlands.
The ICC official seat is in The Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings can take place anywhere.
FundingInternational Criminal Court expenses are funded majorly by States Parties,
It also receives contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.
CompositionJudges: 18; Elected for 9-year term.
Members: 122 countries.
Israel, United States, Russia, china and India are not its member.
LanguageIt has two working languages namely English and French. There are 6 official languages namely, English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Russian.
Member states123
PresidentPiotr Hofmański
First Vice-PresidentLuz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza
Rome Statute adopted17 July 1998
Entered into force1 July 2002

ICC VS ICJ

ICC vs ICJ

 INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE- ICJINTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT-ICC
ESTABLISHEMENT YEAR19462002
RELATIONSHIP WITH U.NOfficial court of U.N. commonly known as ’World Court".Independent. Not governed by U.N. Can receive referrals from UNSC. Can initiate prosecution without UN action.
HEADQUARTERSPeace Palace, HagueHague
JURISDICTIONU.N Member states. Can give advisory opinions to UN bodies. Cannot try individuals. Applies International LawIndividuals accused of international crimes. Uses International Law, as war crimes violate Geneva Convention.
TYPES OF CASESSovereignty, boundary disputes, maritime disputes, trade, natural resources, human rights, treaty violations, treaty interpretation, etc.Genocide. crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of aggression.
DERIVES AUTHORITY FROMStates that ratify the U.N. Charter become parties to the ICJ Statute. Non-UN member states can also become parties to the ICJ by ratifying the ICJ Statute.Rome Statute
APPEALSICJ decision is binding. UNSC can review if states do not comply.Appeals Chamber, according to Rome Statute.
FUNDINGU.N fundedcontribution from state parties to the Rome Statute; voluntary contributions from the U.N; voluntary contributions from governments. international organizations, individuals, corporations and

What is the International Criminal Court?

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent international court formed to investigate, prosecute and start trials against individuals that are accused of committing the most serious crimes which is of concern to the international community as a whole, The crimes against which ICC acts are majorly-
    • crime of genocide,
    • crimes against humanity,
    • war crimes and
    • the crime of aggression.

Why was the ICC established?

  • A number of most henious crimes were committed in the course of the conflicts that occurred throughout the twentieth century. Sadly, most of these crimes which breached the international law have remained unpunished.
  • In 1948, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted, and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recognised the necessity for an everlasting international court to take care of the kinds of atrocities which had simply been perpetrated.
  • The thought of a system of international criminal justice re-emerged after the end of the Cold War.
  • As negotiations on the ICC Statute were underway at the United Nations, the world was witnessing the commission of heinous crimes in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda.
  • In response to those atrocities, the United Nations Safety Council established an ad hoc tribunal for every of those conditions.
  • These occasions undoubtedly had a most vital impact on the choice to convene the conference which established the ICC in Rome in the summer of 1998.

What is the Rome Statute?

  • 17 July 1998, a conference of 160 States formed the first treaty-based permanent international criminal court. The treaty adopted during that convention is called the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. 
  • Rome Statute sets out
    • the crimes which falls within the jurisdiction of the ICC,
    • the rules of procedure
    • the mechanisms for States to cooperate with the ICC.
  • The nations which have ratified these rules are known as States Parties of ICC and are represented in the Assembly of States Parties.
  • The Assembly of States Parties meets at least once a year, and it sets the policies for the administration of the International Criminal Court and also reviews its activities.

How many countries have ratified the Rome Statute?

As of 2021  International Criminal Court  governing body, the Assembly of States Parties consists of 123 countries which have signed the Rome Statute:

  • 33 from the Africa region, 19 from the Asia-Pacific region, 18 from Eastern Europe, 28 from the Latin American and Caribbean region, and 25 from Western Europe and North America.

The list of Memebers is here

Where is the seat of the International Criminal Court?

The permanent seat of the International Criminal Court is in Hague located in the Netherlands. However the Rome Statute authorises that the Court can sit elsewhere whenever the judges of ICC consider it desirable.

How is the International Criminal Court funded?

Mainly from contributions by the States Parties as well as by voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

Is the ICC an office or agency of the United Nations?

No. The International Criminal Court is an independent body it tries individuals for henious crimes within its jurisdiction without requiring mandate from the United Nations. the ICC and the United Nations signed an agreement on 4 October 2004 governing their institutional relationship.

Structure of the ICC

The ICC is composed of four organs. Each of these organs has a specific role and mandate

  • the Presidency,
  • the Chambers,
  • the Office of the Prosecutor
  • the Registry.
international criminal court structure
international criminal court structure

Limitations of international criminal court

  • As a judicial establishment, the ICC doesn’t have its personal police force or enforcement body; thus, it depends on cooperation with nations worldwide for help, notably for making arrests, transferring arrested individuals to the ICC detention centre in The Hague, freezing suspects’ belongings, and imposing sentences.
  • This State cooperation is problematic for a number of causes as it can skew the  ICC in its choice of cases.
  • State cooperation additionally provides the ICC less deterrent power, as potential perpetrators of war crimes can influence the local authorities.
  • There’s inadequate checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges.
  • ICC has been accused of being a instrument of Western imperialism and biased in favour of powerful nations.
  • ICC can’t impose a death sentence; it could impose imprisonment of as much as 30 years or life when so justified by the gravity of the circumstances.
  • The ICC courtroom has no retrospective jurisdiction as it could deal only with crimes committed after 1 July 2002 when the 1998 Rome Statute came to force.
  • ICC has automated jurisdiction just for crimes committed on the territory of a state which has signed the treaty; or by a citizen of such a country; or when the United Nations Security Council refers a case to it.
  • Procedural and substantive deficiencies resulting in delays and frustration, have questioned the efficacy of the ICC.
  • It additionally faces shortage of human sources and funds.

India and ICC

India didn’t signed the Rome Statute, mainly due to following causes:

  • State sovereignty
  • National interests
  • availability of impartial prosecutors
  • Crime definition

Way Forward

  • To boost its credibility the International Criminal Court must broaden its ambit by including more permanent members of UN and by strengthening of investigations and prosecutions.
  • Nations should actively cooperate with ICC and assist International Criminal Court in defending human rights.

FAQ

Is India a member of ICC?

No, India, Israel, United States, Russia and china are not a member of ICC.

What is International Criminal Court Upsc?

International Criminal Court is an intergovernmental, international tribunal for Criminal prosecution of individuals (for action against nations there is ICJ) for four main crimes namely:-
Genocide,
War crimes,
Crimes against humanity
Crime of aggression.

Is ICC part of UN?

No. The International Criminal Court is an independent body it tries individuals for henious crimes within its jurisdiction without requiring mandate from the United Nations.

Which countries are members of ICC?

As of 2021  International Criminal Court  governing body, the Assembly of States Parties consists of 123 countries which have signed the Rome Statute: The list of Memebers is here

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