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Creation of an International Criminal Court

The Creation of an International Criminal Court
Cases of genocide (the Holocaust or Rwanda), crimes against humanity, and serious war crimes are all reasons why diplomats from over 150 countries met in Rome on June 15 to finalize the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC).To this day the Rome Treaty has been signed by 139 countries and as of November 1, 2001 ratified by 43 of the countries.The United States has signed it but because of the controversy over the ICC it has not yet been ratified and probably never will be.The dream of an ICC will become a reality in the near future when the sixtieth country ratifies the treaty. The treaty is an important step towards institutionalizing the rule of law intentionally and breaking the cycle of impunity that too often benefits those who commit the worst atrocities (LCHR, (n.d.), summary 2).
If this International Criminal Court does become a reality it will be a permanent, treaty-based international tribunal that will bring to justice individuals, not countries, of those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and serious war crimes.The ICC will complement existing national judicial systems and step in only if national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes (CoE, 2001, 20). The potential impact of the ICC is enormous. By holding individuals personally accountable, the Court could be an extremely powerful deterrent to the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity and serious war crimes that have plagued humanity during the course of this century. Not only is the establishment of the Court an opportunity to provide critical redress to victims and survivors, but potentially to spare victims from the horrors of such atrocities in the future.If effective, the ICC will extend the rule of law internationally, impelling national systems to themselves investigate and prosecute the most heinous crimes– thus strengthening thos…

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