International Criminal Court (ICC)

International Criminal Court (ICC)

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) has convicted Ugandan rebel group Lords Resistance Army and its former commander (Dominic Ongwen). These people have committed dozens of war crimes and many crimes against humanity, ranging from murders to forced marriages.
  • ICC is located in The Hague, Netherlands. Its function is to prosecute persons accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.
  • Funding: Court expenses are primarily borne by member states, but it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organizations, private individuals, corporations and other institutions.
  • The International Criminal Court was established by the Rome Statute declared in 1998.
  • India is not a member of the International Criminal Court, as India has not yet signed the Rome Statute.

Nature of court and voting power:

  • The court is managed and supervised by a legislative body called the Assembly of States Parties, which has a representative from each country.
  • This assembly consists of a Speaker and two Vice-Presidents. They are elected by members for three-years.
  • Each member has one vote and “every effort is made” to take a unanimous decision. When there is no consensus on a subject, a decision is made by voting.

International Court of Justice (ICJ):

  • Disputes between countries are resolved by the International Court of Justice, such as border disputes, water disputes etc.
  • The decision of the International Court of Justice is considered to be advisory and the Security Council has the power to enforce its decision in a binding manner.
  • In addition, various agencies of the United Nations can consult it on issues of international dispute.
  • The International Court of Justice consists of 15 judges whose term is 9 years. These 15 judges are elected from the following fields –
  • Three from Africa
  • Two from Latin America and the Caribbean countries
  • Three from Asia
  • Five of Western Europe and other countries
  • Two from eastern Europe


  • The ICC has to depend on its member states because it is not able to arrest suspected criminals.
  • Critics of the ICC argue that, there are insufficient checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges and, inadequate provision against politicization of prosecutions.
  • The ICC is accused of bias and, being a tool of Western imperialism, ignores the crimes committed by rich and powerful countries and punishes the leaders of small and weak countries.
  • The ICC cannot resolve many cases successfully without state cooperation, leading to many problems.

Source – The Hindu

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