60th ratification of the International Criminal Court treaty

Today, the United Nations hosts a ceremony marking the historic occasion of the 60th ratification of the Rome Statute, the Treaty that will create the landmark International Criminal Court (ICC). The deposit of the 60th ratification triggers the Treaty’s entry into force, which, according to a timetable set forth in the Treaty, will commence on 1 July 2002.

Importantly, and unlike any previous international criminal tribunal, the ICC allows victims to participate in the proceedings and enables them to claim reparation for the harm they suffered. REDRESS, as coordinator of the Victims’ Rights Working Group fought for the inclusion of this reparations regime.

“The recognition of the rights of victims, who are so often marginalized in criminal proceedings, is a significant advance”. (Professor Bill Bowring, Trustee of REDRESS)

REDRESS, which has actively campaigned for an effective Court for the past six years, hails this historic event as a victory for all victims of international crimes worldwide. The ICC will be the first permanent, international tribunal capable of trying individuals for the gravest crimes of international law: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture.

Many had predicted that the 60 ratifications necessary for the Rome Statute to enter into force would take decades to achieve. Instead, this historic occasion will take place less then four years after the Treaty was adopted. The countries which have ratified the Treaty come from all corners of the world and represent all legal traditions. REDRESS hopes that with this widespread support the ICC will be a truly universal and effective international tribunal.

We call on those countries which have not yet ratified the Treaty to do so as soon as possible.