Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

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The intention behind the Rome Statute of 2002 (“Rome Statute” or “Statute”) in establishing the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) is to prosecute the most serious crimes of international concern and to end impunity. The Rome Statute is significant in being the first international criminal law instrument that recognises forms of sexual violence, such as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, and enforced sterilization, as distinct war crimes. This legal instrument is also novel in prescribing gender-based crimes as the basis of war crimes or crimes against humanity committed during armed conflicts. In particular, the Statute gives the ICC jurisdiction over gender-based crimes if they constitute acts of genocide. In this case the crimes, such as rape, can be an integral part of the destruction inflicted upon the targeted groups and may be charged as genocide. The Prosecutor must further apply and interpret the Statute in line with internationally recognised human rights, including women’s human rights and gender equality. The States Parties should also consider the need to appoint judges with legal expertise on violence against women or children.



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