International Criminal Court

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International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court emblem
English name International Criminal Court (ICC)
French name Cour pénale internationale (CPI)
status international court
Seat of the organs The Hague , NetherlandsNetherlandsNetherlands 
Chair NigeriaNigeria Chile Eboe-Osuji
(President of the International Criminal Court) Robert Fremr (First Vice-President) Karim Ahmad Khan (Prosecutor)
Czech RepublicCzech Republic 

United KingdomUnited Kingdom 
Official and working languages Arabic, Chinese, English (working language), French (working language), Russian, Spanish

The International Criminal Court ( ICC ; English International Criminal Court , ICC ; French Cour pénale internationale , CPI ) is a permanent international criminal court based in The Hague ( Netherlands ) outside the United Nations . Its legal basis is the multilateral Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998. It began its work on July 1, 2002 and is responsible for 123 states (60% of all states in the world ).

Its jurisdiction encompasses the four core crimes of international criminal law , namely genocide , crimes against humanity , crimes of aggression and war crimes to the extent that they were committed after its inception. In December 2017, the contracting states agreed to include the crime of aggression in their jurisdiction, with effect from July 2018. The ICC may not have universal, but far-reaching jurisdiction, which is specifically laid down in the Rome Statute. Its jurisdiction is subordinate to national jurisdiction ; He can only prosecute an act if national criminal prosecution is not possible or not wanted by the state, so-called principle of complementarity.

The ICC is an international organization in the sense of international law , but not part of the United Nations . This differs from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is colloquially known as the “UN War Crimes Tribunal” . Their jurisdiction only concerned certain conflicts, the ICC, on the other hand, is not subject to any such restriction.

The ICC's relationship with the United Nations is regulated in a cooperation agreement. He acts either on the basis of a state party referring a situation to the Court of Justice, a referral by the United Nations Security Council, or on the Prosecutor's own initiative ( proprio motu ).

The Nigerian judge Chile Eboe-Osuji has been President of the ICC since March 11, 2018 , where he has been working since 2012. The first vice-president is Robert Fremr from the Czech Republic , the second vice-president is the French Marc Perrin de Brichambaut . The British lawyer Karim Ahmad Khan has been the chief prosecutor since June 16, 2021 .

The ICC is currently supported by 123 contracting states, including all states of the European Union . Countries like China , India , the United States , Russia , Turkey and Israel either did not sign the Rome Statute, did not ratify the agreement after it was signed, or withdrew their signature.

In the 2020 judges' election to the International Criminal Court in December 2020, six new judges were elected who were sworn in on March 10, 2021.


The building of the International Criminal Court in The Hague

The basis of the ICC is the so-called Rome Statute . The Tribunal can only judge individuals and not states.

Criminal offenses

The ICC can only prosecute those crimes that are named in Art. 5 of the Rome Statute. These are genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression, which are defined in Articles 6, 7, 8 and 8 bis of the Statute.

The crime of aggression has been under the jurisdiction of the ICC since July 17, 2018. The offense of aggression includes the invasion and occupation of another state as well as the bombing and blockade of ports and coasts, as well as the deployment of armed gangs. Whether this also includes humanitarian interventions is controversial among international lawyers, and the position of the contracting states on this is still unclear even after the agreement of the contracting states in 2017.


The ICC did not have universal jurisdiction . A person can only be prosecuted by the ICC for crimes after July 1, 2002 if

  • the person is a citizen of a member state (Art. 12f.),
  • the act was committed on the territory of a member state (Art. 12f.),
  • the situation has been referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council in accordance with Chapter VII (Art. 13), or
  • a state that is not a member, formally affirms the jurisdiction of the ICC and the act was committed on its territory or the person is a citizen of it (Art. 12f.).

Further principles

Victims cannot act as joint plaintiffs .

The ICC statute contains regulations on criminal law , criminal procedure , penal enforcement , court organization , legal assistance and extradition law .

The core principles of the ICC are:

  • jurisdiction and jurisdiction over the above "most serious crimes affecting the international community as a whole";
  • the primacy of national jurisdiction, insofar as it exists and is capable and willing to actually pursue criminal prosecution (principle of complementarity of the ICC, only "supplement");
  • the individual criminal liability of natural persons , regardless of any official office they hold;
  • the possibility in principle of accepting voluntary financial contributions from natural and legal persons and
  • the constitution as a permanent institution.

Basic principles of criminal law are enshrined in the statute, e. B. the principles of the prohibition of retroactive effects ( nullum crimen sine lege ) and the prohibition of double punishment ( ne bis in idem ).

Only crimes committed after the statute came into force on July 1, 2002 can be prosecuted. If states have ratified the Rome Statute at a later date, the earliest point in time is that it will come into force for the respective state.

The representation of the prosecution can undertake preliminary investigations to a large extent, but not without limitation, on its own initiative. The attempt to synthesize two legal systems, namely Roman-Germanic and Anglo-Saxon law, is remarkable.


Efforts to establish an international criminal court date back to the interwar period. After the end of the Second World War, such initiatives within the United Nations and by human rights organizations failed, particularly due to the reservations of the two great powers. At the end of the eighties and the beginning of the nineties, the world climate had changed somewhat in favor of the installation of an international criminal court.

Former international criminal tribunals such as the one for Yugoslavia or that for Rwanda were set up by the UN Security Council to judge a specific conflict and are therefore also referred to as "ad hoc tribunals". The International Criminal Court, on the other hand, was created by an international treaty as a permanent legal institution, is not part of the United Nations, but an independent international organization with international law personality .

The ratification of the Rome Statute by a large number of states gives the Court of Justice a high degree of legitimacy. After five weeks of negotiations in which around 160 states and non-governmental organizations took part, this treaty was adopted by the UN plenipotentiary conference in Rome on July 17, 1998 : 120 states voted yes, seven voted no and 21 abstained. Shortly after the 60th instrument of ratification was deposited , the Rome Statute entered into force on July 1, 2002. The court has jurisdiction over crimes committed since then. A few months later, on March 11, 2003, the first 18 judges were solemnly sworn in. The first chief prosecutor was Luis Moreno Ocampo .

To provide a scientific and methodological foundation, the ICC is developing, among other things, an international criminal law database under the name “ Legal Tools Project ” (LTP) . In the medium term, the application of the criminal offenses genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes should become more internationally comparable. Well-known cooperation partners for this are the Norwegian Center for Human Rights at the University of Oslo , the British Universities of Nottingham and Durham , the International Research and Documentation Center on War Crimes Trials at the Philipps University of Marburg and the University of Graz as well as the Dutch TMC Asser Instituut . The LTP receives technical advice from the Institute for Legal Informatics at Saarland University . Among other things, the CaseMatrix, an expert system for the ICC, is being technically developed there.

In 2012 the budget of the International Criminal Court was around 109 million euros . In the 2010 budget, Germany was the second largest contributor after Japan with 12.7 percent (13.6 million euros of around 103.6 million euros in total).

In June 2010 the first ICC Review Conference of the Rome Statute met in Kampala (Uganda). The aim of the conference was, among other things, to integrate the previously omitted crime of aggression into the Rome Statute. An agreement was reached on both the definition and the conditions for exercising jurisdiction for the crime of aggression in implementation of the mandate of Art. 5 Para. 2 of the ICC Statute.

The US sent a delegation of observers to the first ICC review conference. Above all, she wanted “to prevent the prosecution from being able to investigate on their own if they think they have recognized a crime of aggression - that is, military violence against a state that is obviously in violation of the UN Charter. Behind the dispute about the criminal offense of war of aggression lies [...] always also the debate about 'equality before international law' and the question of whether politically influential nations can evade the court in the long term ”. Germany was represented in Kampala by Markus Löning , Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid .

On February 5, 2021, the ICC decided that, due to the membership of Palestine, it is also responsible for the prosecution of international criminal law crimes in the Israeli- occupied areas of the West Bank , in East Jerusalem and in the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip .

For the historical forerunners of the ICC see: History of International Criminal Law


Contracting parties to the Rome Statute

By August 2017, 123 states had acceded to the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court:

ICC member states States that have signed the statute but not yet ratified it. Non-member states

Twenty-seven other states have signed the treaty but have not yet ratified it:

Four states have withdrawn their signatures on the treaty. You have informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as the Depositary of the Statute, that you do not intend to ratify the Statute:

Several states have at least temporarily announced their intention to withdraw from the treaty (see below: Withdrawals from the ICC ):

In 2016, the three African states South Africa , Burundi and Gambia announced that they would end their ICC membership, but later partially withdrew from this announcement. South Africa and Gambia are still members, Burundi left on October 27, 2017. The Philippines decided to withdraw their membership from the International Criminal Court in March 2018 and officially resigned on March 17, 2019.

Of the 193 member states of the United Nations, 124 have acceded to the statute (the Cook Islands and Palestine are not UN member states), 31 have signed but not ratified it, and 41 have not signed the statute.

Court organization

The court consists of:

  • Presidium (1 President and 2 Vice-Presidents)
  • Pre-litigation department (7 judges; each serving as a chamber of three)
  • Main Proceedings Department (6 judges; each serving as a chamber with three members)
  • Appeal Department (5 judges)
  • Prosecution (1 Prosecutor and 2 Assistant Prosecutors)
  • Chancellery (reports to the President)
    • The registrar (chief administrative officer) has been the Briton Peter Lewis since April 2018. The Dutch lawyer Herman von Hebel held this position from 2013 to 2018. Predecessors were Bruno Cathala (2003–2008) and Silvana Arbia (2008–2013).

Current judges

Country of origin Surname Term of office president Vice President
JapanJapan Japan Kuniko Ozaki 2010-2018 * 2015-2018
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic Robert Fremr 2012-2021 2018–
Dominican RepublicDominican Republic Dominican Republic Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia 2012-2021
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Howard Morrison 2012-2021
NigeriaNigeria Nigeria Chile Eboe-Osuji 2012-2021 2018–
Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Geoffrey Henderson 2014-2021
FranceFrance France Marc Perrin de Brichambaut 2015-2024 2018–
PolandPoland Poland Piotr Hofmański 2015-2024
Congo Democratic RepublicDemocratic Republic of Congo Democratic Republic of Congo Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua 2015-2024
GermanyGermany Germany Bertram Schmitt 2015-2024
HungaryHungary Hungary Péter Kovács 2015-2024
Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea Chung Chang-ho 2015-2024
PhilippinesPhilippines Philippines Raul Cano Pangalangan 2015-2021
PeruPeru Peru Luz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza 2018-2027
UgandaUganda Uganda Solomy Balungi Bossa 2018-2027
JapanJapan Japan Tomoko Akane 2018-2027
BeninBenin Benin Pure Alapini Gansou 2018-2027
CanadaCanada Canada Kimberly cheers 2018-2027
ItalyItaly Italy Rosario Salvatore Aitala 2018-2027
  • Judge Ozaki and Judge Tarfusser will temporarily remain in their office as judges at the International Criminal Court after the regular end of their term of office in 2018 (as of September 2020).


The seat of the International Criminal Court was initially on the corner of Maanweg and Regulusweg in the Laak district of The Hague in an office building called De Arc owned by ING Real Estate . The corresponding rent payments were made by the Netherlands until 2012 and then by the community of contracting states. Since this building did not adequately meet the requirements arising from the court's activities, in particular with regard to location, security and spatial equipment, the construction of a new building was planned from mid-2012 on the site of the Alexander barracks in the Scheveningen district. This should act as the permanent seat of the court from the end of 2015. It was financed by a long-term low-interest loan from the Netherlands to the community of contracting states. The Netherlands is also making the land available for the new building free of charge. In April 2016, the new courthouse was opened by the Dutch King Willem-Alexander at a ceremony in the presence of high-ranking guests.

ICC situations and cases

Official investigations and criminal proceedings

There were ten cases pending in November 2016 in which the Office of the Prosecutor is investigating to find evidence of guilt or innocence of suspects. Five of them were referred to the ICC by the African governments concerned (Central African Republic 2004, 2014; Mali 2012; Uganda 2004; Democratic Republic of the Congo 2004), two (Libya 2011; Darfur, Sudan 2005) were initiated by the UN Security Council. The ICC started three proceedings on its own initiative: one for crimes in the international armed conflict in Georgia between July and October 2008, the one for the violent unrest in Ivory Coast and the one for the by-election unrest in Kenya. Only one of these official proceedings, the Georgia investigation, concerns a country outside of Africa. The proceedings against Burundi, which began in October 2017 shortly after it left the ICC, also affects the African continent.

Situation or conflict Transfer of date Investigation Cases / Defendants (as of February 2020) Case no. Ref.
Congo Democratic RepublicDemocratic Republic of Congo Democratic Republic of Congo Democratic Republic of Congo Apr 16, 2004 June 23, 2004 Thomas Lubanga Dyilo (convicted in 2012) • Germain Katanga (convicted in 2014) • Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (acquitted in 2012) • Callixte Mbarushimana (charges withdrawn 23 Dec. 2011) • Sylvestre Mudacumura (†) • Bosco Ntaganda (convicted in 2019, appeal pending) ICC-01/04
UgandaUganda Uganda Uganda Dec 16, 2003 July 29, 2004 Joseph Kony (fleeting) • Vincent Otti (†) • Raska Lukwiya (†) • Okot Odhiambo (†) • Dominic Ongwen (pronounced guilty) ICC-02/04
Central African RepublicCentral African Republic Central African Republic Central African Republic Jan. 7, 2005 May 22, 2007 Jean-Pierre Bemba (acquitted in 2nd instance 2018) ICC-01/05
SudanSudan Sudan ( Darfur ) UN Security Council March 31, 2005 June 6, 2005 Ahmad Muhammad Harun (fugitive, imprisoned in Sudan) • Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (convicted in Sudan, whereabouts unclear) • Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir (fugitive, imprisoned in Sudan) • Bahr Idriss Abu Garda (indictment withdrawn 8 Feb. 2010) • Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein (fleeting) • Abdallah Banda (fleeting) • Saleh Jerbo (†) - The extradition of the accused has been announced, but has not yet been finally decided.
KenyaKenya Kenya proprio motu March 31, 2010 March 31, 2010 William Ruto (charges withdrawn Apr 5, 2016) • Henry Kosgey (charges withdrawn Apr 5, 2016) • Joshua Sang (charges withdrawn Apr 5, 2016) • Francis Muthaura (charges withdrawn 2013) • Uhuru Kenyatta (charges withdrawn) • Mohamed Hussein Ali (indictment withdrawn in 2012) • Walter Osapiri Barasa (fleeting) ICC-01/09
LibyaLibya Libya UN Security Council Feb. 26, 2011 March 3, 2011 Muammar al-Gaddafi (†) • Abdullah al-Sanusi (sentenced in Libya) • Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi (fleeting) • Mahmoud Al-Werfalli (imprisoned in Libya) • Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled (fleeting) ICC-01/11
Ivory CoastIvory Coast Ivory Coast proprio motu Oct 3, 2011 Oct 3, 2011 Laurent Gbagbo (acquitted January 15, 2019) • Charles Blé Goudé (acquitted January 15, 2019) • Simone Gbagbo (convicted in Ivory Coast in 2015, amnestied in 2018) ICC-02/11
MaliMali Mali Mali July 13, 2012 Jan. 16, 2013 Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi (sentenced in 2016) ICC-01/12
Central African RepublicCentral African Republic Central African Republic Central African Republic May 30, 2014 Sep 24 2014 Investigation, preliminary proceedings against Alfred Yekatom ICC-01/14
GeorgiaGeorgia Georgia proprio motu Aug 20, 2008 Jan. 27, 2016 Investigation, no charges so far ICC-01/15
BurundiBurundi Burundi proprio motu Oct 25, 2017 Investigation, no charges so far ICC-01-17

ICC criminal proceedings (selection)

The first hearing took place in January 2009 in the case of the prosecution against Thomas Lubanga . As the founder and leader of the armed militia Union des Patriotes Congolais in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he was charged with forcibly recruiting children and using them in armed conflicts. At the end of 2009 the Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui case were also negotiated. On March 14, 2012, the ICC issued its first judgment and sentenced former militia leader Thomas Lubanga for recruiting child soldiers in the course of the Second Congo War. The sentence was announced on July 10, 2012: 14 years imprisonment.

On July 14, 2008, Luis Moreno Ocampo , the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, filed for an arrest warrant for genocide , crimes against humanity and war crimes for the first time against an incumbent head of state, the Sudanese head of state Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir . The court only partially granted this motion on March 4, 2009 and issued an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Former Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was acquitted of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” (including recruiting child soldiers, sexual slavery and attacks against civilians) for lack of evidence.

In 2013, Laurent Gbagbo , the former President of Ivory Coast , was tried for "indirect complicity in crimes against humanity". In January 2019, Gbagbo was acquitted.

On March 7, 2014, Germain Katanga was found guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity in a massacre in a village in Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. On May 23, 2014, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for this.

Uhuru Kenyatta appeared before the criminal court as the first incumbent president on October 8, 2014, three years after the charges were brought and after the start of the trial had to be postponed several times . On December 5, 2014, Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she was withdrawing charges against Kenyatta for lack of evidence. She accused the Kenyan government of a lack of cooperation and concluded that it was a black day for international criminal justice.

In September 2016, Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi was sentenced to nine years in prison for destroying cultural property in Timbuktu . Since al-Mahdi confessed and cooperated with the court, the process could be settled within a year.

In 2018, six member states applied for the first time to initiate investigations against another member state; the Venezuelan government has been accused of human rights violations by five South American states and Canada .

In November 2019, the ICC opened official investigations into Myanmar for crimes against humanity following the expulsion of the Rohingya Muslims .

Preliminary investigations

States with cases before the ICC
investigations Official investigations (Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan (Darfur), Kenya, Libya, Ivory Coast, Mali, Georgia and Myanmar) Preliminary investigations (Afghanistan, Burundi, Guinea, Iraq, Colombia, Nigeria, Palestine, Philippines and Ukraine) Closed preliminary investigations (South Korea, Honduras, Comoros, and Venezuela)

In pre-trials, the ICC prosecution examines whether an official investigation should be opened against suspects. If it comes to the conclusion that there is a sufficient basis for the commencement of an investigation, it shall submit a reasoned request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for approval of investigations. The Pre-Trial Chamber examines the documents and makes a decision on the application. In four countries (Venezuela, South Korea, Comoros and Honduras) preliminary investigations have been concluded without an official investigation.

In 2015, preliminary investigations into the situation in Georgia were completed. The Prosecution's request to investigate the situation in Georgia was approved by the Pre-Trial Chamber. It is about the international armed conflict between July 1 and October 10, 2008 in and around South Ossetia (see Caucasus War 2008 )

The preliminary investigations into the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq and Nigeria continued in 2015. On January 16, 2015, the chief prosecutor initiated a new preliminary investigation into the situation in Palestine. Earlier preliminary investigations into Palestine and alleged war crimes by British nationals in Iraq had initially been completed. The new preliminary investigation into the situation in Iraq was launched on May 13, 2014, after the Court had received new information on these events.

The preliminary investigations into the situation in Ukraine, which began in 2014, were extended in terms of time in 2015. The Ukrainian government has not ratified the Rome Statute, but has recognized the ICC's competence for the period from November 21, 2013 to February 22, 2014 as a first step. In a second step, in 2015 she declared her recognition of the jurisdiction of the ICC for the period after February 22, 2014.

International acceptance

Endorsement of the ICC

The countries of the European Union in particular have endeavored to implement the ICC against the resistance of the USA and other states , since it is an important concern of the EU as well as the other signatory states to ensure genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity also on an international level to be able to punish by an independent court. Otherwise one would always be bound by the consensus in the UN Security Council, which is often difficult to achieve, and by national prosecution. The offenses that fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC affect the international community as a whole because of their seriousness. The introduction of an international criminal court consequently strengthens the UN system.

The Coalition for an International Criminal Court (CICC), an association of more than 1,500 non-governmental organizations around the world , which was initiated in 1995 by the World Federalist Movement , also played an important role in the enforcement of the ICC . The CICC was partly funded by the EU.

Advocates of the ICC emphasize that despite all the difficulties, the ICC has now become an authority that is also being taken into account by states such as the USA and China, while just a few decades ago the idea of ​​a world criminal court seemed absurd. At the state level, there is also a cautiously increasing willingness to prosecute international crimes. For example, Germany has created a national code of international criminal law that serves to adapt German criminal law to the Rome Statute.

Rejection of the ICC

The US government signed the ICC Statute in 2000, but declared that the signing could be withdrawn. Bill Clinton stated that he did not want to ratify the Rome Statute until the United States was given a sufficient opportunity to review the International Criminal Court and its functioning over an extended period of time. By concluding bilateral agreements with the ICC contracting parties and other states, the USA is trying to prevent US citizens from being transferred to the ICC as a precautionary measure. In 2002 the American Service Members' Protection Act came into force , which implicitly empowers the US President to order a military exemption for US citizens who would have to answer before the ICC in The Hague. US authorities are prohibited from working with the court. In addition, all states that are not members of NATO and ratify the statute can have US military aid canceled. In connection with a request for an investigation by the chief prosecutor at the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, against the US armed forces and US intelligence services into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, the US announced in September 2018 that it would be banned from entering the country and imposed financial sanctions on judges and prosecutors in the case of investigations against US citizens Pronouncing the ICC and having the judges and prosecutors at the ICC prosecuted by US criminal justice authorities. In March 2019, the United States implemented the threatened sanctions for the first time, issued entry bans and revoked visas. In June 2020, US President Trump approved entry bans and financial sanctions against ICC employees in the event that they investigate US soldiers without Washington's consent. In early April 2021, these sanctions were lifted by the new US President Joe Biden .

Other states that have not ratified the Rome Statute are the People's Republic of China , India , Iraq , Iran , Israel , Cuba , North Korea , Pakistan , Russia , Syria , Saudi Arabia , Sudan and Turkey . The Czech Republic , which had long resisted ratification, carried it out in the run-up to its EU Council Presidency in October 2008.

The African Union accused the ICC in 2013, a one-sided pursuit of criminals after racial criteria, "a kind of race-baiting" in front. Until then, the criminal court had only opened proceedings against Africans. Against the accusation that the ICC is a neo-colonial instrument, the journalist Ulrich Ladurner sums up in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit : “The International Criminal Court is not anti-African, but it is incomplete ... Criticism of the ICC comes mainly from those who fear it - but not from the victims of the crime. For them, the criminal court is the only hope for justice. "

Human rights organizations also criticize the inefficiency of the criminal court. They base their criticism in particular on the fact that non-contracting states in which human rights violations are committed can prevent criminal proceedings with the support of one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. In addition, some of the most influential states, including the veto powers in the UN Security Council, China, Russia and the USA, have not ratified the statute of the criminal court. Another important point of criticism concerns the selection of the cases, most of which come from Africa, while members of more powerful states have little to fear. Difficulties and resistance for the ICC arise in practice from the fact that The Hague depends on the support of the states against whose citizens are being investigated.

Resignation before ratification procedure

On November 16, 2016, Russia declared that it would not ratify the ICC Statute and withdrew the signature it had given in 2000.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the ICC was inefficient and one-sided and that in the 14 years since it was founded it had only passed four judgments but had spent more than a billion dollars. Russia understands that the African Union has decided to develop coordinated measures to withdraw African states from the Rome Statute. Russia also does not trust the ICC with regard to the Caucasus War in 2008 . The Russian actions in Ukraine since 2014 have been suspected in media comments as the reason. Ukraine is not a signatory state, but has recognized the ICC's jurisdiction over events between the end of November 2013 and the end of February 2014 in order to facilitate investigations into the ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and former members of the government. In a first report in November 2015, the ICC prosecutor exonerated Yanukovych; There were serious human rights violations on the Euromaidan , but no crimes against humanity .

Leaving the ICC

Withdrawal is possible under Article 127 of the Rome Statute, but will only take effect one year after a formal notification to the UN Secretary General.

The three African states Burundi, South Africa and Gambia declared their exit in 2016.

South Africa's Minister of Justice Michael Masutha justified his country's efforts to leave with the fact that the ICC's actions violated the law customary in international politics, which gives heads of state of other states diplomatic immunity as long as they are in office. This right of immunity is valid national law and is in conflict with the Roman statute. In 2015, the ICC asked South Africa to arrest the Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir while he was a state guest in South Africa. On February 22, 2017, the High Court in Pretoria , South Africa ruled that the exit is unconstitutional and that a corresponding declaration must be withdrawn immediately. The justification for the judgment was that the resignation took place without first obtaining the necessary consent from parliament. However, since the ruling party ANC has a large majority in parliament, approval can be obtained without any problems. In 2017, however, the South African government declared that it no longer wanted to leave the ICC.

The Gambia , home of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights , revised its resignation after Yahya Jammeh was voted out of office in January 2017.

Burundi was the first member state to leave with effect from October 27, 2017. The reason given by the Burundian government was that the ICC was unilaterally targeting Africans (at the time, nine out of ten pending official ICC investigations were directed against African countries). ICC spokespersons stated that the ICC's investigation into the Burundian government for crimes against humanity would continue regardless and that Article 127 of the Rome Statute requires Burundi to cooperate with investigators.

The African Union discussed a collective exit from the ICC at the end of January 2017, but did not find a unanimous consensus. Individual African states, including Namibia , are still considering leaving.

The Philippines announced on March 14, 2018 that it would withdraw from the International Criminal Court and that it would “withdraw its ratification of the Rome Statute with immediate effect” on the grounds that the ICC was being used as a “political tool against the Philippines”. However, according to Article 127 (1) of the Rome Statute, the resignation did not take effect until March 17, 2019.


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Web links

Commons : International Criminal Court  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Meret Baumann: How a “Last Judgment” came into being on the outskirts of The Hague . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , June 30, 2012 (No. 150), p. 9.
  2. ^ A b The States Parties to the Rome Statute. Retrieved August 17, 2017 (UK English).
  3. B [eat] A [mmann]: A product of the global public . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , June 30, 2012 (No. 150), p. 9.
  5. ^ Criminal court may punish war of aggression , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung v. December 16, 2017, p. 6.
  6. ^ Six new judges sworn in today at the seat of the International Criminal Court. Retrieved April 24, 2021 (British English).
  7. a b Beat Ammann: A symbol against impunity . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , June 30, 2012 (No. 150), p. 9 quotes the judge René Blattmann .
  8. Hannah Lea Pfeiffer: The Rome Statute. In: Sources on the history of human rights. Working Group Human Rights in the 20th Century, May 2015, accessed on January 11, 2017 .
  9. Cooperation with the International Criminal Court
  10. ^ Knowledge transfer, legal empowerment and capacity development
  11. The Case Matrix (PDF; 313 kB)  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  12. ^ Der Fischer Weltalmanach: Entry IStGH , Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb). Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  13. Welcome address by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on May 31, 2010 in Kampala. In:
  14. Simone Schlindwein: mass graves, very abstract. In: , June 8, 2010.
  15. Kai Ambos : The crime of aggression according to Kampala. (PDF) In: ZIS 11/2010, pp. 649–668 (PDF; 283 kB).
  16. The associated documents of the ICC can be found here ( Memento of October 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  17. Andrea Böhm: Power doesn't protect - or does it? Anyone waging a war of aggression should go to the Hague Criminal Court. In theory, this is even true of the American president. In: Die Zeit 24/2010 of June 10, 2010, p. 8.
  18. June 1, 2010 (speech)
  19. ^ ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I issues its decision on the Prosecutor's request related to territorial jurisdiction over Palestine. In: International Criminal Court, February 5, 2021, accessed February 6, 2021 (UK English).
  20. ^ Accession of Palestine
  21. ^ Lawsuits against Israel: Palestine joins the International Criminal Court. In: Spiegel Online . April 1, 2015, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  22. International Criminal Court: Gambia wants to leave the Criminal Court . In: The time . October 26, 2016, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed August 17, 2017]).
  23. Press Releases. ICC, 2017, accessed on August 17, 2017 .
  24. ^ A b The States Parties to the Rome Statute. Retrieved August 17, 2017 .
  25. Burundi is the first state to leave the world criminal court . NZZ , October 27, 2017, accessed on the same day.
  26. Exit of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court. In: . March 17, 2019, accessed March 17, 2019 .
  27. Herman von Hebel elected as ICC Registrar. ICC press release of March 8, 2013
  28. ICC Permanent Premises officially opened by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, press release of the ICC. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016 .
  29. ^ ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I authorizes the Prosecutor to open an investigation into the situation in Georgia. ICC press release, January 27, 2016
  30. ^ Democratic Republic of the Congo. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  31. Ex-rebel leader sentenced Ongwen in The Hague. In: Deutsche Welle. February 4, 2021, accessed February 4, 2021 .
  32. Uganda. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  33. ^ Central African Republic. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  34. ^ Jen Kirby: Sudan's former dictator may finally face justice for the Darfur genocide. dated February 11, 2020, accessed on February 12, 2020
  35. Darfur, Sudan. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  36. Al Bashir Case. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  37. Kenya. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  38. Libya. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  39. ^ Decision on Mr Gbagbo's Detention. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  40. Al Mahdi Case. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  41. Central African ex-militia chief for the first time before the ICC. In: Deutsche Welle. November 23, 2018, accessed February 1, 2021 .
  42. Central African Republic II. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  43. Georgia: Situation in Georgia. International Criminal Court, accessed October 28, 2017 .
  44. ^ Burundi: Situation in the Republic of Burundi. International Criminal Court, accessed April 13, 2019 .
  45. Chronology of the International Criminal Court ( Memento of March 2, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  46. ^ Course of the proceedings, the indictment against Katanga and Chui ( Memento of March 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  47. ICC (Trial Chamber I), judgment of March 14, 2012, Az.ICC-01 / 04-01 / 06-2842
  48. ^ Report from the weekly newspaper Die ZEIT from July 10, 2012.
  49. ^ Kai Ambos: The first judgment of the International Criminal Court (Prosecutor v. Lubanga). A critical analysis of the legal issues. (PDF) In: Journal for International Criminal Law Dogmatics (ZIS) 07/2012, 313 (PDF; 358 kB)
  50. Congolese militia leader found guilty. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012 .
  51. 14 years imprisonment for the commander of the child soldiers. In: Spiegel Online . July 10, 2012, accessed July 10, 2012 .
  52. Press release of the ICC ( Memento of January 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  53. ^ Warrant of Arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, No. ICC-02 / 05-01 / 09. (PDF; 367 kB) International Criminal Court, March 4, 2009, p. 8 , accessed on March 4, 2009 (English): "[...] for these reasons herby issues a warrant of arrest [...]"
  54. World Criminal Court acquits ex-militia leader Ngudjolo. In: Zeit , December 18, 2012.
  55. Ivory Coast: Woe to the vanquished! In: n-tv , February 19, 2013.
  56. ^ Acquittal for ex-president Gbagbo. In: Deutsche Welle. January 15, 2019, accessed on February 1, 2021 (German).
  57. Warlord from Congo: Twelve years imprisonment for war criminal Katanga. In: Spiegel Online . May 23, 2014, accessed May 26, 2014 .
  58. ^ First acting President before the International Criminal Court. In: time. October 8, 2014, accessed December 10, 2014 .
  59. Niklaus Nuspliger: Case against Kenyatta discontinued: The short arm of the ICC. In: NZZ. December 6, 2014, accessed December 10, 2014 .
  60. Nine years imprisonment for destruction. In: Der Tagesspiegel , September 27, 2016.
  61. Rightly spoken. In: Der Tagesspiegel , September 27, 2016.
  62. Maduro is to be tried in The Hague , NZZ , September 28, 2018, page 7
  63. Latin America countries call The Hague because of the Venezuela crisis ,, September 27, 2018
  64. World Criminal Court investigating Myanmar. Deutsche Welle, November 14, 2019, accessed on February 1, 2021 .
  65. Article 15 of the Rome Statute
  67. ( Memento from May 17, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  69. Report on Preliminary Examination Activities (2015) (PDF) ICC, Office of the Prosecutor, p. 18ff.
  70. Hannah Lea Pfeiffer: The Rome Statute. In: Sources on the history of human rights. Working Group Human Rights in the 20th Century, May 2015, accessed on January 11, 2017 .
  71. ^ Clinton's statement on war crimes court. In: BBC News , December 31, 2000.
  72. USA threatens sanctions against the International Criminal Court Report on the homepage of the German state television broadcaster Deutsche Welle on September 10, 2018, accessed on September 10, 2018
  74. International Criminal Court: Trump approves sanctions against investigators. In: June 11, 2020, accessed June 12, 2020 .
  75. USA lift sanctions against International Criminal Court. In: Der Spiegel. Retrieved April 3, 2021 .
  76. ^ Daniel Kortschak, Till Janzer: The Czech Republic recognizes the International Criminal Court. Radio Praha , October 30, 2008.
  77. African Union accuses The Hague of “racial baiting” . Welt Online , May 27, 2013
  78. Ulrich Ladurner : A victory for war criminals . In: Die Zeit , No. 52/2014.
  79. Hannah Lea Pfeiffer: The Rome Statute. In: Sources on the history of human rights. Working Group Human Rights in the 20th Century, May 2015, accessed on January 11, 2017 .
  80. Russia turns its back on the international criminal court. In: , November 16, 2016.
  81. Russia quits International Criminal Court. ( Memento of November 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) CNN , November 17, 2016.
  82. Because of the conflict in Ukraine? Russia leaves ICC. In: Legal Tribune Online. 2016, accessed November 16, 2016 .
  83. Ukraine conflict: Russia turns away from the criminal court. In: Spiegel Online . Retrieved November 17, 2016 .
  84. The Hague: Russia leaves the International Criminal Court. In: Zeit Online . November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016 .
  85. Russia to withdraw from International Criminal Court amid calls for Syria air strikes investigation. In: The Independent. 2016, accessed November 16, 2016 .
  86. International investigations against Yanukovych possible. Süddeutsche Zeitung , April 18, 2014, accessed on August 26, 2020 . .
  87. Ukraine: International Criminal Court sees no crimes against humanity on Maidan., November 13, 2015.
  88. 10. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. UN, accessed on October 8, 2017 (English).
  89. Rome Statute. (PDF) Accessed in 2016 .
  90. Marion Sendker: Resigning from the ICC: No more than a significant step backwards LTO , January 2, 2017
  91. hba / tgs: In fact an international tribunal of whites against Africans. In: Deutschlandfunk. October 26, 2016, accessed on February 24, 2017 : "The West African country Gambia has now also announced that it will end its cooperation."
  92. Minister Michael Masutha: Media briefing on International Criminal Court and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir. In: South African Government, October 21, 2016, accessed February 24, 2017 .
  93. ^ Reuters: South Africa to quit international criminal court. In: The Guardian , October 21, 2016.
  94. Lizeka Tandwa: ICC withdrawal 'unconstitutional and invalid', high court rules. In: News24. February 22, 2017, accessed on February 24, 2017 (English): "The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that government's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) was unconstitutional and invalid."
  95. Press Release: 13/03/2017 ASP President welcomes the revocation of South Africa's withdrawal from the Rome Statute. ICC, March 13, 2017, accessed on October 8, 2017 (English).
  96. ^ E. Keppler: Gambia Rejoins ICC. February 17, 2017, accessed October 8, 2017 .
  97. ^ Burundi leaves International Criminal Court amid row. BBC News, October 27, 2017, accessed October 27, 2017 .
  98. News at noon. In: Hitradio Namibia , January 31, 2017

Coordinates: 52 ° 4 ′ 5 ″  N , 4 ° 21 ′ 12 ″  E