American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 47, Issue 4, 102-107


Copyright © 2011 American Judges Association. Used by permission.


On July 1, 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) became operational following establishment by the Rome Statute. The Court is made up of the Presidency, an Appeals Division, a Trial Division, Pre-Trial Division, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. The purpose of the Court is to provide a means to bring to justice the perpetrators of “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community . . . .” The crimes within the jurisdiction of the court are the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. To date, no crime of aggression has been charged.

One case is pending before the Pre-Trial Division and six cases are being tried before a Trial Chamber, leaving eleven cases where the defendants are at large and warrants have been issued for their arrests and two cases where a Pre-Trial Chamber refused to confirm charges. The jurisprudence of the ICC results from the decisions in these cases by the Pre- Trial, Trial, and Appeals Divisions interpreting the Statute of Rome, the Elements of Crimes, and the Court’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Following that, the Court may look to applicable treaties and the principles and rules of international law. Lastly, the Court may under certain circumstances review the national law of states.