The Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court


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The intention behind the Rome Statute of 2002 (“Rome Statute” or “Statute”) in establishing the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) is to prosecute the most serious crimes of international concern and to end impunity. The Rome Statute is significant in being the first international criminal law instrument that recognises forms of sexual violence, such as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, and enforced sterilization, as distinct war crimes. This legal instrument is also novel in prescribing gender-based crimes as the basis of war crimes or crimes against humanity committed during armed conflicts. In particular, the Statute gives the ICC jurisdiction over gender-based crimes if they constitute acts of genocide. In this case the crimes, such as rape, can be an integral part of the destruction inflicted upon the targeted groups and may be charged as genocide. The Prosecutor must further apply and interpret the Statute in line with internationally recognised human rights, including women’s human rights and gender equality. The States Parties should also consider the need to appoint judges with legal expertise on violence against women or children.

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The text of the Rome Statute reproduced herein was originally circulated as document A/CONF.183/9 of 17 July 1998 and corrected by procès-verbaux of 10 November 1998, 12 July 1999, 30 November 1999, 8 May 2000, 17 January 2001 and 16 January 2002.

The amendments to article 8 reproduce the text contained in depositary notification C.N.651.2010 Treaties-6, while the amendments regarding articles 8 bis, 15 bis and 15 ter replicate the text contained in depositary notification C.N.651.2010 Treaties-8; both depositary communications are dated 29 November 2010.

The table of contents is not part of the text of the Rome Statute adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court on 17 July 1998. It has been included in this publication for ease of reference.

Done at Rome on 17 July 1998, in force on 1 July 2002, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2187, No. 38544, Depositary: Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Published by the International Criminal Court ISBN No. 92-9227-232-2 ICC-PIOS-LT-03-002/15_Eng

Copyright © International Criminal Court 2011 All rights reserved

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2 Responses to “The Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court”

  1. Hoosen Vawda says:

    Thank you for the review of the Rome Statue. May I kindly refer the readers to a link, highlighting the matter of possible bias against Palestine by ICC, with over 21000 Palestinians brutally murdered, including children, yet ICC has NOT been heard to utter a word on the matter. Appreciate your comments. Thank you colleagues. Wish you well over the Festive Season.

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