Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Rome, 17 July 1998
  • Introductory Note
  • Documents
  • Status
F o r t h c o m i n g
Introductory note to tbe published

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted on 17 July 1998 at a United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. The Statute establishes an international criminal court to try individuals for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole and seeks to establish a fair and just international criminal justice system with competent and impartial judges and an independent prosecutor. Unlike an ad hoc tribunal, the Court is a permanent institution, which ensures that the international community can make immediate use of its services in the event of atrocities occurring and also acts as a deterrent to those who would perpetrate such crimes.

The Statute establishes a Court composed of the following organs: the Presidency; an Appeals Division; a Trial Division and a Pre-trial Division; the Office of the Prosecutor; and the Registry. Its judges are persons of high moral character and integrity and in their selection the States Parties take into account the need for the representation of the principal legal systems of the world, equitable geographical distribution and a fair representation of female and male judges. The Court is complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. It is not intended to supersede their jurisdiction. It will act only when the national jurisdiction is unable or unwilling to genuinely prosecute, or in the case of referral by the Security Council.

The Court has jurisdiction over the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

The Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002, i.e. on the first day of the month after the 60th day following the date of deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (article 126).

The Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002. For the current participation status of the Statute, as well as information and relevant texts of related treaty actions, see:

The Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General