The Rome Statute Review Conference

The Review Conference of the Rome Statute provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the progress of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the challenges that it faces. ICTJ brings a wealth of in-country expertise to the stocktaking discussions on complementarity, peace and justice, and the impact of the ICC on victims and affected communities.

What is the International Criminal Court?

Based in The Hague, the Netherlands, the ICC is the first ever permanent international institution with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern: genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

The jurisdiction and functioning of the ICC is governed by the provisions of the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the ICC. The treaty entered into force on July 1, 2002, after 60 states ratified the statute and incorporated it into their own constitutions and legal systems. To date, 111 countries have ratified the ICC treaty to become official state parties.

The ICC is currently investigating cases against individuals in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and the Central African Republic. In March 2010, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II also authorized the opening of a formal investigation in Kenya.

What is the Review Conference of the Rome Statute?

The first Review Conference on the Rome Statute is scheduled to be held in Kampala, Uganda, from May 31 to June 11, 2010. The Conference constitutes a special meeting of states parties to the ICC to take stock of the Rome Statute's implementation and impact in the areas of complementarity, cooperation, peace and justice, and victims and affected communities, as well as to consider amendments to the Statute.

Amendment proposals include:

Revision of Article 124, which currently allows states to choose not to have their nationals subject to the Court's jurisdiction over war crimes for a seven year period after ratification;
Definition of elements of the crime of aggression and conditions for the Court to exercise its jurisdiction over such crimes;
Revision of Article 8, to criminalize the use of certain weapons in the context of armed conflict not of an international character.