A Brief History
On July 17, 1998, a conference of international delegates under the auspices of the United Nations adopted The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, a treaty to provide a permanent international venue to prosecute war crimes and related crimes.
Some countries refused to endorse the treaty, and others that initially agreed, withdrew their support or failed to ratify the treaty. Countries that signed the treaty but later withdrew their signatures include the United States and Russia, while China and India did not sign in the first place.
Without the largest and most powerful countries being members of the treaty, The Rome Statute is somewhat toothless, leaving individual countries to pursue charges against war criminals in the domestic courts of countries in which the crime was not committed. The International Criminal Court may be used for such prosecutions or temporary international courts may be created for specific instances of such crimes.
Question for students (and subscribers): Should the US ratify the Rome Statute, or does doing so endanger Americans? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
International Law. ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT. Wohnrecht, 2015.
Politi, Mauro. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: A Challenge to Impunity. Routledge, 2017.
The featured image in this article, the International Criminal Court (ICC) logo, is ineligible for copyright and therefore in the public domain because it consists entirely of information that is common property and contains no original authorship.
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