The International Criminal Court: from Versailles to Rome
The discussions leading to the formation of an International Criminal Court are approaching a critical stage. The Preparatory Committee is currently in its final round in New York City, with a draft statute to be delivered for signing to a UN Diplomatic Conference in Rome in June 1998. Unlike the World Court, which pronounces on disputes between signatory states, the ICC is to have jurisdiction over individuals accused of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, as well as "treaty-based crimes", including hijacking, hostage-taking, apartheid, torture and traffic in illicit drugs.
While some of the elements of the international world order currently under construction seek more or less overtly to codify current practice in an inequitable world system, the ICC clearly begins with the idea of universal and even-handed justice. The process underway at the PrepComs will prove if its final form will live up to this ideal. The NGO Coalition for an ICC, a global network of human rights organizations, has been among the keenest observers of the PrepCom process. Several members of the NGO Coalition have been invited to this panel to present their views.
David Donat-Cattin, European Law Students Association
Daniel Nsereko, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Botswana
Jelena Pejic, Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights
Usha Ramanathan, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi.
The Brecht Forum
10th Floor, 122 West 27th Street
New York NY 10001
1 April 1998
Submissions Deadline: March 2.
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