International Criminal Court resources
The purpose of this international court is stated succinctly at the official United Nations Home Page in its “Overview” section as follows:
An international criminal court has been called the missing link in the international legal system. The International Court of Justice at The Hague handles only cases between States, not individuals. Without an international criminal court for dealing with individual responsibility as an enforcement mechanism, acts of genocide and egregious violations of human rights often go unpunished. In the last 50 years, there have been many instances of crimes against humanity and war crimes for which no individuals have been held accountable. In Cambodia in the1970s, an estimated 2 million people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. In armed conflicts in Mozambique, Liberia, El Salvador and other countries, there has been tremendous loss of civilian life, including horrifying numbers of unarmed women and children.4
Set out briefly below are sources for some of the major documents of the court, including the statute, (a charter-type convention), its preparatory history, and the continuing revisions, discussions, and ratification process.
1. Web Sites – Major Documents
- the text of the
Rome Statute of 17 July 1998 establishing an International Criminal Court
, U.N.Doc. A/CONF.183/9 and corrections
- Documents of the Preparatory Commission (1999-)
- Documents of the Preparatory Committee for the Rome Conference (1996-1998)
- Documents of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1995)
This list indicates, in reverse chronological order, the United Nations bodies which were set up, in sequence, to address the establishment of the court and the drafting of its statute.
- The Preparatory Commission of the International Criminal Court, the currently active body, is charged with drafting rules of procedures and other practical matters related to the actual setting up of the court and its operation.
- United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court is the official UN Web site for the Rome Conference and provides a unique glimpse of the daily conference proceedings as they unfolded. A daily photo gallery, audio coverage, and transcripts of speeches and statements combine to provide a recreation of the Rome Conference proceedings
- Just prior to this process there had been a project of the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) on a Draft Code of Crimes Against the Peace and Security of Mankind, this site reproduces documentation culminating in the ILC report in U.N. Doc. A/51/10 (1996).
In addition to the official United Nations sites referenced above, the following selected sites provide substantial information on the International Criminal Court:
- International Criminal Court: Resources in Print and Electronic Format compiled by Lyonette Louis-Jacques. Excellent hyperlinked traditional bibliography integrating web sites with full-text secondary sources, such as journal articles, for commentary.
- ASIL Bibliography on the International Criminal Court is a bibliography of journal articles on the International Criminal Court held in the ASIL Library.
- Coalition for an International Criminal Court
- Human Rights Watch, Making the Treaty Work: International Criminal Court Ratification Campaign. Commentary and action alerts from the Advocacy side.
- Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, International Criminal Court Briefing Series
- Reasonable Doubt: The Case against the Proposed International Criminal Court by Gary T. Dempsey, Cato Policy Analysis No. 311 July 16, 1998 for the Cato Institute
- Considerations on the Financing of an International Criminal Court Prepared by Jeffrey Laurenti, Executive Director, Policy Studies UNA-USA.
- ASIL Insightsare brief essays on current topics by international law experts:
- Results of the Rome Conference for an International Criminal Court, by Michael P. Scharf. August 1998.
- Rome Diplomatic Conference for an International Criminal Court, by Michael P. Scharf. June 1998.
- Is a U.N. International Criminal Court in the U.S. National Interest? Senate Hearing 105-724 conducted by the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the establishment of the International Criminal Court, includes testimony from David J. Scheffer, Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes Issues, John R. Bolton, Former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Attorney Lee A. Casey, Professor Michael P. Scharf, along with statements submitted by The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch.
References and Further Reading
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