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International Criminal Court, ICC

International Organisation

20 September 2011
07 July 2016

The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal which prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

International Criminal Court

The ICC is the first permanent court governed by the Rome Statute. It has 121 Member States and is a fully independent international organisation. The Court does not replace national criminal courts. It can only start a prosecution if national systems are not able or willing to effectively organise prosecution themselves.

Background of the ICC

At the First Peace Conference of 1899 in The Hague a first call for adjudication of war crimes was heard, and the concept of an International Criminal Court (ICC) was born. During several turbulent periods in the following years the concept of the ICC resurfaced, but it took until 1998 to actually establish the organisation.

During a diplomatic conference in Rome, the so-called Rome Statute was signed, and entered into force on 1 July 2002. An advance team started the preparations for the instalment of the judges and the recruitment of staff, and on 11 March 2003, 18 judges were sworn in, and the ICC officially began.

More information

For more information, visit the website of the International Criminal Court or download the PDF about the International Criminal Court.

Contact details

Maanweg 174
P.O. Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague

Telephone: 070 - 515 85 15


The International Criminal Court welcomes interested members of the public at its seat in The Hague, with a view to raising public awareness of its structure, the way it works and the nature of its work. Visits can include attending hearings or receiving a briefing regarding the Court.


20 September 2011
07 July 2016