About the ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the world’s only permanent international court with a mandate to investigate and prosecute individuals who participate in the international atrocity crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

About the ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the world’s only permanent international court with a mandate to investigate and prosecute individuals who participate in the international atrocity crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC’s jurisdiction may expand in 2017 to include the crime of aggression.

A multilateral treaty called the Rome Statute established the ICC. The Rome Statute was adopted in 1998 and the ICC began operations in 2002 once the Rome Statute was ratified by the 60th country. The ICC is an independent institution that is not a part of the United Nations (UN), but cooperates with the UN and its agencies.

By law of the Rome Statute, the ICC may only investigate and prosecute when a national jurisdiction is “unwilling or unable” to do so themselves, and may only address the gravest crimes. Further, the Rome Statute and other core documents require the ICC to use the highest standards of due process and fair trial.

What is in this section of the ABA’s ICC Project website?

The following section of the website will delve deeper into the field of international criminal justice and the ICC, yet do so through graphics, timelines, maps, and other interactive visuals. Specifically, we will explore the ICC and its State Parties, jurisdiction, structure, judicial processes, current investigations and prosecutions, and other important information. Additionally, there are two helpful timelines: one that covers the history of international criminal justice, including temporary international tribunals; and the other looks into the evolution of relations between the United States and the ICC. Many of these above features will be unveiled in the coming weeks and months.

We encourage you to explore all of these features, and are eager to hear your comments and suggestions!