The International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.
It is the first permanent international court capable of investigating and prosecuting the most serious crimes of international concern.
The court was established by the Rome Statute, which entered into force generally on 1 July 2002, and for Australia on 1 September 2002.
As a state party to the Rome Statute Australia has a general obligation to cooperate fully with the court’s investigations and prosecutions.
The court’s jurisdiction is limited to the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed after the Rome Statute entered into force.
More information can be found on the International Criminal Court website.
Australia’s engagement with the International Criminal Court
Australia actively participates in the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute.
This assembly is the court’s management oversight and legislative body.
It meets at least once a year and sets the general policies for the administration of the court and reviews its activities.
It also elects the judges and key officials such as prosecutor and deputy-prosecutor.
This department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade represent Australia at these meetings.
Australia provides consistent financial support to the court. As well as contributing to the annual budget Australia has provided voluntary funding to key initiatives.
These include the Trust Fund for Victims, the Trust Fund for Least Developed Countries and the Internships and Visiting Professionals Program.
We administer Australia’s financial contributions to the court and engage closely in budget and policy deliberations.
The International Criminal Court Act 2002
We also administer the International Criminal Court Act 2002.
The Act establishes mechanisms to facilitate Australia’s compliance with the Rome Statute.
This includes the provision of investigative assistance and the arrest and surrender of suspects.
Each year this department must publish, as an appendix to its annual report, a report on the operation of the International Criminal Court Act 2002, the operations of the court and the impact of the court’s operations on the Australian legal system.
The most recent report is annexed to our 2011-12 Annual Report.