ICC Ratification and Implementation

Promoting ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute

In the context of evolving awareness of demands for justice during or following periods of conflict or transition, the establishment of the ICC, on 1 July 2002, marks a critical step in the creation and development of an effective international criminal justice system.  While it is only one piece of the puzzle, universality of the ICC remains a critical goal, so as to provide the widest possible protection for victims; the widest application of the principle of accountability for the commission of serious crimes under international law; and to avoid the perception that the ICC is a “European” court.
Given that, in the absence of a Security Council referral, the Court has jurisdiction only over crimes committed in the territory or by nationals of States Parties, the effectiveness of the ICC will rise exponentially the closer it comes to universal ratification.  In addition, many of the countries that have already ratified the Statute have yet to enact national legislation for the effective implementation of the Rome Statute. Frequently, despite a clear political will to ratify and implement the provisions of the Rome Statute, countries encounter technical problems in the drafting and adoption of implementing legislation, given the relative complexity of the overlapping provisions of the Rome Statute and national legal systems. 

NPWJ’s strategy on international criminal justice therefore continues to promote universality of the Rome Statute, through advocacy with States for ratification, in particular in regions where the number of ratifications to date is among the lowest such as the Middle East and North Africa. NPWJ also promotes the review, drafting and adoption of national legislation implementing international criminal justice obligations and cooperation with the ICC.
NPWJ also continues its work on implementation of the Rome Statute in Italy: despite its public commitment, reaffirmed several times since the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998, Italy has not yet adopted the implementing legislation necessary to allow national investigations and prosecutions of the crimes contained in the Rome Statute and to enable the Italian authorities to cooperate with the ICC in its investigations and judicial actions.  NPWJ therefore promotes Italy setting the enactment of national legislation implementing the Rome Statute among the priorities of its political agenda, through initiatives addressed to the Italian Parliament and Ministry for Justice.

Related activities: