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Day of International Criminal Justice

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court (ICC) mandated to the prosecution of perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression. Slovenia is committed to respecting the principles and values of the Rome Statute and to supporting the independence and impartiality of the ICC, and encourages other countries to do the same. Past atrocities have been preserved in the collective memory and give rise to the determination to prevent conflicts and genocide more effectively in the future.

On 17 July 1998, 120 countries adopted the Rome Statute, which provides the legal basis for the establishment of the ICC. The establishment and operation of ad hoc international criminal tribunals (for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, etc.) and the first permanent international criminal court serve as evidence that the international community is not willing to tolerate gross violations of international law.

Today, the Rome Statute has 123 States Parties from all over the world. The ICC does not have its own law enforcement mechanisms; for the successful fight against impunity for international crimes, it is imperative that all States cooperate in prevention, detection, and prosecution. This is essential for achieving lasting peace and security as well as restoration of trust and reconciliation among the affected communities.

As a State Party to the Rome Statute, Slovenia has been an active player in supporting the operation and strengthening of the ICC. The Court is one of the most important tools for preventing and punishing the most serious crimes and for establishing individual criminal responsibility for international crimes in cases when the states are unable or unwilling to do so. In addition to providing support to the ICC, Slovenia has been undertaking efforts to promote the universality of the Rome Statute and to strengthen the principle of complementarity as one of the fundamental tenets stipulating that the primary responsibility for the prosecution of perpetrators of international crimes rests with the national authorities.

In a concerted effort to effectively combat impunity, Slovenia, together with the Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, Senegal, and Mongolia, initiated a new multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition to aid in the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes at the national level (the MLA Initiative).