What is the ICC?

Learn about the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its role in bringing justice to perpetrators of serious crimes. Explore its history, mandate, impact, and challenges.


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes individuals who have committed the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.


The ICC was established by the Rome Statute in 1998 and began operating in 2002. It is based in The Hague, Netherlands.


  • Genocide
  • Crimes against humanity
  • War crimes
  • Crimes of aggression


The ICC consists of four main organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Division, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. It has 123 member states as of 2021.


The ICC has played a crucial role in bringing perpetrators of international crimes to justice. It has issued arrest warrants for high-profile individuals and conducted trials that have helped bring closure to victims.

Case Studies

One notable case is the trial of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who was acquitted of crimes against humanity in 2019. Another example is the conviction of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga for using child soldiers in 2012.


  • Political influence
  • Lack of enforcement mechanisms
  • Limited resources


The ICC plays a crucial role in upholding justice and accountability on the international stage. Despite its challenges, it remains a vital tool in the fight against impunity.

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