The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first ever permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court. It was established to promote the rule of law and to ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished. The Rome Statute of the ICC was established by on 17 July 1998, when 120 States participating in the "United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court" adopted the Statute. The Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002.
The ICC is a court of last resort. It will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national proceedings are not genuine, for example, if formal proceedings were undertaken solely to shield a person from criminal responsibility. In addition, the ICC only tries those accused of the gravest crimes.
As of July 2009, 110 countries had ratified the Rome Statute and the Court was embarking on its first case: that of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo who has been charged for war crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
View the ICC research files on the Hague Justice Portal
Number of staff
Sang-Hyun Song - President
Fatoumata Dembele Diarra - First Vice President
Hans-Peter Kaul - Second Vice President
Luis Moreno-Ocampo - Chief Prosecutor
Silvana Arbia - Registrar
P.O. Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague
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