Bible Prophecy Research
Title: Rome Statute, International Criminal Court
Submitted by:
Date: April 8, 2002
Update: June 14, 2002
URL: //

Rome Statute, 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.


Ratification Countdown!

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.


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:, please contact Ellen McGuffie at the UN Department of Information by calling (212) 963-0499 or emailing

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 .



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 Reality
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.


U.S. withdraws from treaty on International Criminal Court

By David R. Sands

The Bush administration yesterday pulled out of the U.N.-backed effort to create a permanent international court on war crimes, saying it recognized "no legal obligations" to the court.

The administration said it was acting because the court could become a tool for politically motivated prosecutions of U.S. servicemen and officials serving abroad.

"It's over. We're washing our hands of it," Pierre-Richard Prosper, the State Department's ambassador-at-large for war-crimes issues, said of the 1998 treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).

President Clinton signed the treaty in December 2000, just weeks before he left office, but neither he nor President Bush ever submitted it to the Senate for ratification.

Mr. Bush, who had long made clear his dislike of the treaty, stopped short of formally erasing Mr. Clinton's signature but informed U.N. officials yesterday that the United States "has no legal obligations" to the ICC because it intended never to become a party to the founding treaty.

The decision was hailed by conservatives long skeptical of the ICC but was immediately attacked by leading human rights groups and many of the 66 nations including almost all of America's NATO allies that had ratified the treaty.

Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, said the Bush administration "showed real courage and leadership today in refusing to sacrifice America's constitutional principles to those bent on creating a one-world government."

House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican, said the United States "simply cannot accept an international institution that claims jurisdiction over American citizens superior to that of our Constitution."

But officials in Canada, who spearheaded the effort to create the global court, expressed sharp disappointment at the decision, as did leaders of the European Union.

Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham told reporters in Ottawa, "I think there's a certain irony in the fact that the United States, which tends to extraterritorially apply its laws rather widely, is not willing to participate in a truly international consensus" for the ICC.

Officials in the State Department's office of international organizations and legal affairs office resisted the decision to withdraw from the court, a senior administration official said.

"Even now, some in the State Department are in denial about the president's action," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. William H. Taft IV, the State Department's top legal adviser, has been a key advocate of keeping the United States involved in the treaty.

The action is viewed as a victory for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld "that has been long in coming," the official said. "This has been actively frustrated by the State Department bureaucracy."

Mr. Prosper, asked why the United States did not renounce Mr. Clinton's signature on the treaty, said Mr. Bush "made the decision not to aggressively attack or undermine the ICC. This was a better way to go."

But Mr. Rumsfeld made clear that the Pentagon would resist any efforts by the ICC to assert legal authority over U.S. armed forces.

"The United States will regard as illegitimate any attempt by the court, or state parties to the treaty, to assert the ICC's jurisdiction over American citizens," Mr. Rumsfeld said in a statement.

The product of years of negotiations, the ICC is designed to serve as a court of last resort to investigate and prosecute genocide, war crimes, "aggression" and other crimes against humanity, replacing the ad hoc systems of judicial panels set up for such crisis spots as Rwanda and Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Unlike the current Hague-based World Court, the ICC would not be restricted to cases involving governments. It could try individual citizens in cases referred by the U.N. Security Council, by the government of an ICC member or by the court's own prosecutors.

The United States is not alone in its doubts about the ICC.

Major powers such as China, India, Indonesia and Turkey have not signed the 1998 Rome treaty establishing the court, while Russia, Israel and Egypt are among those, like the United States, that have signed but not ratified the accord.

Backers say the court would intervene only when national authorities cannot or will not prosecute massive human rights violators.

But Marc Grossman, undersecretary of state for political affairs, said in a speech yesterday that U.S. efforts to define the court's mandate and check its powers were rebuffed consistently in negotiations.

Mr. Grossman said the ICC's potential to go after U.S. military personnel in "politicized prosecutions and investigations" could disrupt the Bush administration's global war on terrorism or other military and peacekeeping deployments around the globe.

"In the rush to create a powerful and independent court in Rome, there was a refusal to constrain the court's power in any meaningful way," Mr. Grossman argued.

Gary Dempsey, an international affairs specialist for the libertarian Cato Institute, said the administration's unwillingness to "unsign" the treaty was a reflection of the murky international legal landscape. But he said the U.N. letter "removed any doubts about our position that the treaty is beyond repair."

Tom Malinowski, head of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch, said the administration's move was a "purely symbolic step" that would not stop the ICC effort but would remove any U.S. leverage to shape the court's powers.

"The more real this court becomes, the sillier this decision is going to look," Mr. Malinowski said.

Thursday, January 11, 2001
Israel agrees to sign the International Criminal Court Treaty(ICC)
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Jerusalem, 1 January 2001

A Ministerial Committee, headed by the Prime Minister, appointed today by the Government to decide in the matter of Israel signing the International Criminal Court Treaty (ICC), decided this evening to authorize the Israeli Ambassador at the United Nations to announce Israel's signing of the above-mentioned treaty.

The decision taken was a change in the position taken till now, following clear legal clarifications that the signing would not harm the interests of Israel, inter alia by the attaching of various and clear reservations raised by the Government of Israel regarding the treaty, and specifically the issue of the settlements. In addition, it followed various contacts held throughout the day and especially this evening, at senior levels with the U.S. Administration, aimed at safeguarding the interests of Israel as mentioned above.

So far 130 nations have signed the treaty, and today was the last deadline for signing the treaty. It is clarified that the signing is a declarative act, and it has no legal bearing until the ratification of the treaty.

Israel is proud that it was one of the initiators of the treaty, following the Holocaust and the lessons of the Nurenburg trials, and it hopes that with the original spirit of the treaty, the flaws will be corrected, so as to bring about a fair and equitable implementation of the treaty.


Israel spurns International Criminal Court
June 12, 2002

Israel will not ratify the treaty creating an International Criminal Court (ICC) for fear of finding itself in the dock for its policies in the Palestinian territories,
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel will not ratify the treaty creating an International Criminal Court (ICC) for fear of finding itself in the dock for its policies in the Palestinian territories, officials said.

The decision, conveyed to parliament on Tuesday, was criticized by human rights activists who said Israel was afraid to be held to account for its military operations and Jewish settlements in the territories.

"It's a sad and stupid decision, taken by an extreme-rightist government that is afraid of the world and that believes that everyone is against Israel," said Labor's former justice minister Yossi Beilin.

Eliakim Rubinstein, the government's legal counsel, told parliament that Israel would refuse to ratify the treaty empowering the ICC to prosecute alleged crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes.

Israel reluctantly signed the 1998 Treaty of Rome on December 31, 2000, but it has now opted to follow the example of the United States in rejecting the tribunal expected to come on stream in The Hague on July 1.

"We feel that there is too great a risk of the politicization of the tribunal which could consider the settling of Israelis in the territories as a war crime," justice ministry spokesman Jacob Galanti told AFP.

Israeli lawyer and rights activist Yael Stein criticized the decision as "contrary to efforts around the world to enforce humanitarian law rather than let political considerations prevail."

She said Israel was knowingly violating the Fourth Geneva Convention, a 1949 treaty signed by Israel on war-time protection of civilians, by establishing settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian lawyer Raji Sourani stressed that "although the court will not have retroactive powers, settlement activity is very much ongoing and is thus a continuous war crime."

About 200 settlements have been established in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967, with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accused of encouraging a proliferation of small outposts since taking office in February 2001.

Another reason for Israel's refusal to ratify the ICC treaty is the fear that some of its soldiers could be put on trial for military operations in the occupied territories, the rights lawyers said.

Following Israel's military offensive on the West Bank from March 29 to May 10, dubbed Operation Defensive Shidld, rights groups accused Israel of serious violations of humanitarian law, especially in the Jenin refugee camp.

The camp on the northern West Bank was the scene of the fiercest fighting in the operation, with more than 50 Palestinians and 23 soldiers killed. Israeli bulldozers razed a large chunk of the camp.

Israel resisted the dispatch of a UN fact-finding committee to investigate the Jenin battle, partly out of concern that its report could be used as evidence in eventual legal proceedings.

Although Human Right Watch and other groups dismissed Palestinian charges of a massacre, they did report evidence of unlawful killings, use of civilians as human shields and blocking treatment of the wounded.

Israeli fears have been heightened by a move in Belgium to try Sharon for war crimes for the 1982 massacres of Palestinians in Lebanon's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

For Beilin, the question is academic since Israelis caught outside their country can still be brought before the ICC.

"Membership (in the ICC) doesn't make one guilty, and non-membership doesn't exempt Israel from having some of its citizens prosecuted," he said.



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