An essay on the International Criminal Court, with a mark of 18.75/20. Including- Overview, History, Jurisdiction, Structure, Rights of the accused and Current Cases

Essay by sbhs09High School, 12th gradeA+, October 2008

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established on July 1 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, but it cannot exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, as the Rome Statute of the international criminal court stipulates that the ICC cannot exercise its jurisdiction over the crime of aggression until such time as the states parties agree on a definition of the crime and set out the conditions under which it may be prosecuted. The Rome Statute also States that the ICC can only prosecute crimes committed on or after the founding date. The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the court.

Today there are 105 member states of the court, and 41 countries have signed but not ratified the Rome Statute. Countries which have signed but not ratified the statute are expected to refrain from "acts which would defeat the object and purpose" of the treaty.

There are a few controversial countries which have not signed the statute including India, China and the United States. India and China have not yet joined the statute because of underlying issues such as it goes against the sovereignty of nation states, the war crimes jurisdiction covers internal as well as international conflicts affecting India due to its dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir. The United States has not signed the treaty citing that it denies fundamental American human rights, it is a political court without appeal, and there is an absence of jury trials, no right to a speedy trial, public trial or reasonable bail although these are all elements of the American military trials which have been used to try David Hicks and other Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

>In 1948, following the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, the United Nations...