International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court

  • The ICC is an independent international organisation, and is not part of the United Nations system.
  • Its seat is at The Hague in the Netherlands.
  • Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties to the Rome Statute, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.
  • On 17 July 1998, the international community reached an historic milestone when 120 States adopted the Rome Statute, the legal basis for establishing the permanent International Criminal Court. The Rome Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002 after ratification by 60 countries.
  • Potentially, legal aid.
  • The Rome Statute established three separate bodies: The Assembly of States Parties, the International Criminal Court, which comprises four separate organs, and the Trust Fund for Victims.

·        1The Assembly of States Parties

  • Representatives of States Parties meet and provide management oversight for the Court, including electing judges and the Prosecutor and approving the ICC’s budget

·        2. Four organs of the ICC


  • Conducts external relations with States, coordinates judicial matters such as assigning judges, situations and cases to divisions, and oversees the Registry’s administrative work
  • 3 judges
  • 2 vice ;president appointed by absolute majority of 18 judges
  • Elected for max. 2yrs


Judicial division
18 judges in 3 divisions – Pre-Trial 7 judges function superwise work of office of  prosection their evidences gathered etc

  • Trial 6 judges determine whether an accussed is guilty or innocent
  • May sentence upto 30yrs or LI
  • Appeals – 5 judges president and 4 judges uphold reverse or amend decision of trial chamber

Office of the prosecutor

  • Conducts preliminary examinations, investigations, and prosecutions. Here it is to be noted that oic is a separate organ of the court itself and is only it can bring cases before the icc.


  • Conducts non-judicial activities, such as security, interpretation, outreach, support to Defense and victims’ lawyers, and more

·        3.Trust Fund for Victims

  • Provides assistance, support and reparations to victims. created in 2004 by the Assembly of States Parties, in accordance with article 79 of the Rome Statute.

*Detention center

The ICC detention center is used to hold in safe, secure and humane custody those detained by the ICC. It is not used for enforcing sentences; convicted persons serve sentences in one of the States Parties which have concluded agreements on enforcement of sentences with the ICC and have accepted to place a particular convicted person or persons within a national facility. Until such an arrangement is made, a convicted person remains temporarily in the detention center




  • Jurisdiction The ICC has jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, when committed after 1 July 2002, as well as the crime of aggression, as of 17 July 2018, under specific conditions and procedures. Each of these crimes is clearly defined in the Rome Statute and other relevant texts.
  • The Court may exercise jurisdiction over such international crimes only if they were committed on the territory of a State Party or by one of its nationals.
  • These conditions, however, do not apply if a situation is referred to the Prosecutor by the United Nations Security Council, whose resolutions are binding on all UN member states, or if a State makes a declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the Court.


Principle of complementarity

  • The Court is intended to complement, not to replace, national criminal justice systems. It can prosecute cases only if national justice systems do not carry out proceedings or when they claim to do so but in reality are unwilling or unable to carry out such proceedings genuinely. This fundamental principle is known as the principle of complementarity.


  • The Prosecutor can initiate an investigation or prosecution in three different ways:


1 States Parties to the Statute of the ICC can refer situations to the Prosecutor;

2„ the United Nations Security Council can request the Prosecutor to launch an investigation; „   3   the Office of the Prosecutor may initiate investigations proprio motu (on its own initiative) on the basis of information received from reliable sources. In this case, the Prosecutor must seek prior authorisation from a Pre-Trial Chamber composed of three independent judges.



No immunity Acting in an official capacity as a head of state, member of government or parliament or as an elected representative or public official in no way exempts a person from prosecution or criminal responsibility. Superiors or military commanders may be held responsible for criminal offences committed by persons under their effective command and control or effective authority and control. However, the ICC cannot prosecute persons who were under the age of 18 at the time a crime was allegedly committed. Rights of victims and accused Under the rules and regulations governing the ICC, victims can send information to the Prosecutor concerning crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court. For the first time in the history of international criminal justice, victims have the right to participate in proceedings and request reparations. This means that they may not only testify as witnesses, but also present their views and concerns at all stages of the proceedings. Participants may receive legal representation and,



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