International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an international tribunal established to prosecute individuals responsible for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

Jurisdiction: The ICC has jurisdiction over four main crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. These crimes are considered to be of grave concern to the international community as a whole, and the ICC has the authority to investigate and prosecute individuals accused of committing these crimes.

Independence and impartiality: The ICC is an independent and impartial institution. It operates outside of national jurisdictions and is not subject to political influence or interference. Its judges and staff are appointed based on their qualifications and expertise in international law, ensuring the integrity and credibility of the Court's proceedings.

Complementarity: The principle of complementarity is a fundamental aspect of the ICC's jurisdiction. According to this principle, the ICC is a court of last resort and only intervenes when national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to prosecute individuals responsible for the crimes within its jurisdiction. The primary responsibility for prosecuting these crimes rests with national courts.

Investigation and prosecution: The ICC conducts investigations and prosecutions based on two main sources of information: referrals from states parties to the ICC and referrals from the United Nations Security Council. The Court also has the authority to initiate investigations proprio motu, meaning on its own initiative, if it has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within its jurisdiction have been committed.

Cooperation: The ICC relies on the cooperation of states, both parties to the ICC Statute and non-parties, to carry out its mandate effectively. States are obligated to cooperate with the ICC in various aspects, such as arresting and surrendering suspects, providing access to evidence and witnesses, and executing Court orders.

Victims' participation and reparations: The ICC recognises the rights of victims to participate in its proceedings and to seek reparations for the harm they have suffered. Victims can present their views and concerns before the Court, participate in the trial process, and seek compensation or restitution for the harm they have endured.

Outreach and support: The ICC engages in outreach activities to raise awareness about its mandate, proceedings, and the rights of victims. It also provides support to victims and affected communities, such as psychosocial assistance and assistance in rebuilding their lives.

Relationship with states and international community: The ICC collaborates with states, international organisations, and civil society to promote the effectiveness and universality of international criminal justice. It works to strengthen national legal systems, promote the rule of law, and prevent future atrocities.

The International Criminal Court plays a crucial role in holding individuals accountable for the most serious crimes and contributing to the prevention of future atrocities. By prosecuting those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, the ICC seeks to ensure justice, deterrence, and the promotion of peace and stability at the international level.
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