The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of October 2009, 111 states are party to the statute, and a further 38 states have signed but not ratified the treaty. Among other things, the statute establishes the court's functions, jurisdiction and structure.
Following years of negotiations aimed at establishing a permanent international tribunal to punish individuals who commit genocide and other serious international crimes, the United Nations General Assembly convened a five-week diplomatic conference in Rome in June 1998 "to finalize and adopt a convention on the establishment of an international criminal court". On 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining. The seven countries that voted against the treaty were Iraq, Israel, Libya, the People's Republic of China, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen.
Article 126 of the statute provided that it would enter into force shortly after the number of states that had ratified it reached sixty. This happened on 11 April 2002, when ten countries ratified the statute at the same time at a special ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The treaty entered into force on 1 July 2002; the ICC can only prosecute crimes committed on or after that date.
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